Two days ago the very great and crucial American painter, Cy Twombly, passed away. Barely a week since a very special exhibition opened at the Dulwich Picture Gallery that sees his work sit side by side with the French classicist, Nicholas Poussin – realised from Twombly once having said that he “would’ve liked to have been Poussin, if I’d had a choice, in another time." The director of the gallery, Ian A C Dejardin said in light of the recent sadness, that they are “honoured to have been able to mount so beautiful a testimony to the importance of Twombly’s work.”
Both artist’s, united by the themes that figuratively characterised Poussin’s work and instilled in Twombly from his adoptive culture of Old Europe – love, death, “Arcadia and the pastoral, Venus and Eros, anxiety and theatricality.” The fascinating parallels borne by one artist’s love of another, that could otherwise gone undrawn when physically comparing the lyrical graffiti of Twombly to the classical style of Poussin.
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