press release

Bohemia has no banner. It survives by discretion. -- Tennessee Williams

To inaugurate the new Paris gallery, Gagosian Gallery is pleased to present “Camino Real,” a group of five new paintings by Cy Twombly. Each displays the inimitable and exuberant painterly gestures and highly keyed palette typical of his recent paintings.

Camino Real is a reference to the play by Tennessee Williams, first performed in New York in 1953. The cast of characters, which includes Don Quixote, Lord Byron, Casanova, Baron de Charlus, and Marguerite Gautier, represents a romantic attitude to life, ”old knights, dreamers and troublemakers” who retain a wild and untrammelled vision.

Twombly’s paintings have an allusive and elusive relationship with this title; they are renewed evidence of his exceptional vitality and the freedom to work with intense colors and effusive gestures that are not restricted to a single reference. Their vivid palette relates to his previous series of "rose" and "peony" paintings, and contrasts with the austerity of the patinated bronze sculptures that are also part of this exhibition.

A fully illustrated catalogue with an essay by Marie-Laure Bernadac will accompany the exhibition.

Cy Twombly was born in 1928 in Lexington, Virginia. He studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (1947–1949); the Art Students League, New York (1950–1951); and Black Mountain College, North Carolina (1951–1952). In the mid 1950s, following travels in Europe and Africa, he emerged as a prominent figure among a group of artists working in New York that included Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns. In 1959, Twombly settled permanently in Italy. In 1968, the Milwaukee Art Center mounted his first retrospective. This was followed by major retrospectives at the Kunsthaus Zürich (1987) travelling to Madrid, London and Paris; the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1994) (travelling to Houston, Los Angeles, and Berlin) and the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich (2006). In 1995, the Cy Twombly Gallery opened at The Menil Collection, Houston, exhibiting works made by the artist since 1954. The European retrospective "Cy Twombly: Cycles and Seasons" opened at the Tate Modern, London in June 2008, with subsequent versions at the Guggenheim Bilbao and the Museum of Modern Art in Rome in 2009. Recent exhibitions include "Cy Twombly: The Natural World, Selected Works 2000-2007," The Art Institute of Chicago (2009) and "Sensations of the Moment," the Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna, (2009). Earlier this year Twombly’s permanent site-specific painting, Ceiling was unveiled in the Salle des Bronzes at the Musée du Louvre. At the same time he was made Chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur by the French government.

Twombly lives in Lexington, Virginia.

Cy Twombly