Cy Twombly: Bacchus
This book was published on the occasion of Cy Twombly: Bacchus, an exhibition of eight monumental paintings and a sculpture at Gagosian, 980 Madison Avenue, New York. Fleshy grounds are activated with expansive, dripping loops of red oil paint. Completed in 2005, the canvases recall the gestural force of Twombly’s Blackboard paintings from the mid-1960s, continuing his ongoing search for universal truths to be found in the annals of myth and history. The exhibition’s full title, Bacchus: Psilax and Mainomenos, invokes the opposing natures of uplifting exhilaration and destructive debauchery that constitute the character of the god of wine, pleasure, and festivities.
The catalogue includes full-color plates and details, along with installation photographs of the exhibition. Olivier Berggruen’s essay “The Summons to Living Things to Return Home” considers Twombly’s Bacchus paintings within his larger creative practice, while Malcolm Bull’s essay “Fire in the Water” explores this body of work in relation to Dionysian myths.