Twombly and the School of Fontainebleau






















top : Orion II 1968 Marx Collection, Berlin
bottom : Free Wheeler 1955 Marx Collection, Berlin

from the exhibition description :

To consider the works of painter Cy Twombly only within the context of the art movements
of the 20th century would not do full justice to his work. His gestural, lavish compositions
are too complex, interspersed with small figurative sketches, numbers, words, and quotations.
In many cases his canvases are covered with a thick impasto; in others his compositions
suggest a generous sense of emptiness. Twombly draws unusual associations between
geometric order and chaotic knots of color, figuration and abstraction, image and concept,
painting and literature.

Cy Twombly, who was born in 1928 in Lexington (Virginia) and died in 2011 Rome, lived
in Italy as of 1960. This move inspired Twombly s intensive study of European art history.
In his work he established relationships to the Italian artists who had left Italy for France in
the 16th century, founding the ‘Ecole de Fontainebleau’, as well as to 17th-century French
artists who were influenced by this school, such as Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665).

The Fontainebleau school is a Mannerist decorative style, which was developed in the mid
16th century in the Fontainebleau Chateau. The French king François I commissioned
two Italian artists Rosso Fiorentino (1494-1540) and Francesco Primaticcio (1504-1570)
to decorate his chateau. Under their direction, Fontainebleau was transformed into a
Gesamtkunstwerk, which unfolded ist luxurious splendor through its architecture, gardens,
and extremely complex decorations.

Fiorentino and Primaticcio not only designed the paintings, frescos, tapestries and sculptures
required for the official representation of the court, they also used graphic media to disseminate
their programmatic repertoire. Hamburger Bahnhof presents a selection of these art works
from the collections of the Kupferstichkabinett and the Kunstbibliothek (Staatliche Museen
zu Berlin), offering an unusual dialogue with works by Cy Twombly from the Marx Collection.

Location: Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin, Invalidenstraße 50, 10557 Berlin, Germany