Untitled („THE MATHEMATICAL DREAM OF ASHURBANIPAL“) (Lexington)Artwork Factory
Four boxes, nails, cardboard written in felt-tip pen, white plaster dried mid-flow and a mystical-sounding title. The lower part of the sculpture is made of wood, while three round steps resting on it, somewhat reminiscent of a cake, are made of cardboard. The object is about a meter high and cast with a mixture of plaster, which in turn resembles a kind of glaze.
Cy Twombly was interested in myths, events and personalities of antiquity and the ancient Orient. This sculpture is dedicated to Ashurbanipal, who was king of the Assyrian Empire in the 7th century BCE. A brutal ruler of the most powerful empire in the world, he was feared by his enemies. In Assyria’s capital Nineveh he also founded an important library and had magnificent palaces built.
The sculpture by Cy Twombly was assembled from found objects. He used white paint and plaster to transform the inconspicuous and worthless materials into works of art.
The term plastic art (French: plastique means the art of design) is the generic term for three-dimensional works of art, e.g. sculpture or object art. The German term Bildhauerkunst represents visually the art of creating corporeal formations from solid materials.
What does the material used say about a work of art?
What do you associate with the color white?
How do the form and material of the sculpture fit Ashurbanipal?
Cy Twombly often wrote the title on his artworks—so too here. What is the mathematical dream all about? Another clue—Assurbanipal’s interests also included geometry.
How do you think such titles are created and what titles would you create?
Do you know Cy Twombly’s sculptures? They are less known than his paintings. In his sculptural work, he uses the technique of “bricolage”. He puts together found objects to create interesting new pieces.