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. The 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 engagement with European art history, especially with the 'École de Fontainebleau'.
The School of Fontainebleau is a Mannerist decorative style, which was developed in the mid 16th century in France. Two Italian artists - Rosso Fiorentino (1494-1540) and Francesco Primaticcio (1504-1570) - were commissioned to decorate the Palace of Fontainebleau. They 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 style. Through this graphics they influenced artists, such as Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665) up to the 17th century.
Hamburger Bahnhof presents a selection of these art works from the collections of the Kupferstichkabinett and the Kunstbibliothek (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin), offering a dialogue with works by Cy Twombly from the Marx Collection.