Cy Twombly at the Centre Pompidou, Paris

Achilles Mourning the Death of Patroclus, 1962
Oil, wax crayon, lead pencil on canvas, 259 x 302 cm


The Centre Pompidou is currently presenting a major retrospective of the work of American artist 
Cy Twombly. A key event of the fall 2016, this exceptionally vast exhibition will only be shown 
in Paris, and will feature remarkable loans from private and public collections from all over
the world.

Organized around three major cycles – Nine Discourses on Commodus (1963), 
(1978) and Coronation of Sesostris (2000) – this retrospective covers the artist’s entire career
 in a chronological circuit of some 140 paintings, sculptures, drawings and photographs,
 providing a clear picture of an extraordinarily rich body of work which is both intellectual
and sensual. The selection includes many of Twombly’s iconic works, several of them never 
previously exhibited in France.
Born in 1928 in Lexington, Virginia, Cy Twombly died in 2011 at the age of 83 in Rome,
where he spent a large part of his life. Unanimously acclaimed as one of the greatest painters
of the second half of the 20th century, Twombly, who began dividing his life between Italy
and America in the late Fifties, merged the legacy of American abstract expressionism
with the origins of Mediterranean culture. From his first works in the early Fifties (marked
by the so-called primitive arts, graffiti and writing) to his last paintings with their exuberant
colour schemes, by way of the highly carnal compositions of the early Sixties and his response
to minimalist and conceptual art during the Seventies, this retrospective emphasises
the importance of cycles and series for Twombly, in which he reinvented great history painting.
 The exhibition is also the occasion to highlight the artist’s close relationship with Paris.
 The Centre Pompidou had devoted a first substantial retrospective to him as early as 1988.
 The exhibition is organized in close collaboration with the Cy Twombly Foundation and its 
president, Nicola Del Roscio, and the Fondazione Nicola Del Roscio in Gaeta, with the support
of the artist’s son, Alessandro Twombly.

Apollo, 1975
Oil pastel and lead pencil on paper, 150 x 134 cm


Venus, 1975
Oil pastel, lead pencil and collage on paper, 150 x 137 cm


School of Athens, 1961
Oil, Oil-based house paint, coloured pencil and lead pencil on canvas, 190,3 x 200,5 cm


Centre Pompidou – Place Georges Pompidou, 75004 Paris
30 November – 24 April 2017