25 August 2011

Art I like - Cy Twombley's Lepanto Cycle

The video shows the 12 individual pictures, and closeups from each, with background music from Pergolesi's Stabat Mater - highly recommended. At the end you see the room with pictures all round the walls.

"The title Lepanto refers to an important historical event. In 1571 events culminated in a devastating sea battle in the Gulf of Patras, during the course of which the united fleets of Venice, Spain, and the Pope (the Holy League) ferreted the Turkish fleet out of its winter quarters and destroyed it on a single day in October. Even though more than 8,000 of its soldiers alone died that day, with this victory the Christian alliance seemed to have achieved the decisive turning point in Europes struggle against the expansion of the Ottoman Empire. The twelve paintings do not, of course, narrate this history directly, but rather cast their spell on the viewer initially through the eruption of brilliant colors, the concentration and splintering of forms. Even before the title reminds us of the historical event, we perceive the cycle as a magnificent wall decoration in the tradition of Henri Matisse or Claude Monet. Painted for the 2001 Venice Biennale by Cy Twombly with acrylic colors, wax crayon and graphite on canvas."

1 comment:

June said...

These are amazing paintings, particularly given the context referred to in the title. It's like a meditation -- and one which pulls my mind around in a great swirl of history and art and time and human affairs, affairs of the hand as well as of the mind and heart. The music of the video, of course, also helps pack the experience.

I'm wondering if I'm finally able to watch You-Tube videos -- if I've had a learning curve, but have finally succumbed. I resist the video format on the computer, although it's difficult to resist it when it's so ubiquitous. But this video captured me completely.

Thanks, Margaret.