I visited the Gagosian in London, one bright Saturday afternoon in Autumn. There in the white minimalism of the L shaped room in the big new white building, I found many of Cy Twombly’s works hanging on the gallery walls. These were not his photographs, rather a series of untitled works of art, generally created in 1969 at Balsena. In addition there were a number of 21st century Bronzes held to the floor by gravity.
The titles were mostly ‘untitled’. I found it difficult to remember these titles and quickly scribbled notes in biro on my program to try to make sense of it all. Perhaps that was my mistake. Here then is a series of titles for the untitled. Which is which then ? = the numbers correspond to the original sequence at the gallery, now since packed away, but then that is the mystery of it all. Like from the creation of the world through to Christmas, you just had to be there.
1. – Bronze – Creation
Theres a yellow thing sitting on the floor – its a massive work of creative power – where the oche paint of spirit covers the raw solid bronze shape from the casting fire.
2. – 2 and 1/2 – Adam and Eve
The two of them he created, Adam and Eve representing the first of the human race – a creative engine giving a little more than just the power of two.
3. – M’ Triangles – Fall of Man
Man is perhaps a prime copy of the original Man.
4. – Projection of a 3″ Jar – Noah’s Ark
There’s a vessel into which was poured two of each kind by Noah before the flood bore it off to a mountain to rest, waiting for the lands to reappear. Jar’s have always had an electric connotation to them for me, either for preservation or for the storage of electrical charge.
5. – Fallen Jar – Shadow – Abraham
Abraham of course became the father of a new covenant following the fall of Adam .. so himself a shadow of the fallen Jar.
6. – Falling Jar – Smudge – Isaac
Isaac was a smudge in time following on from Abraham.
7. – Paper Jars, Helium Chalk Ascending Balloon – Jacob’s Ladder
If only Jacob could reach heaven easily. Everything else is too much work. Helium should do the trick. Is that a balloon ascending or a Jar Falling again.
8. – Green Finger Prints
Joseph and his colored coat, green paint perhaps, but he ended up down in a well, not really a Jar.
9. – Rock of Gibraltar — Bronze
Finally something solid, the rock of ages, Gibraltar rock, Moses mountain.
10. – Circular Eye Glasses
It took Samuel some time to hear the call, perhaps he was also a little blind, but eventually got to see the light, through a pair of eyeglasses.
11. – Jars Falling Finger Staff
Who was Jesse and why did he need a staff in anycase ?
12. – Comet Falling
This was all about David and Goliath, represented by a comet tail falling against a star.
13. – Green Square Frame
Framed he was, many of them were and I guess Solomon managed the scales of Jealousy and Justice equally well.
14. – ‘Untitled’
As Joseph was, being just a humble carpenter with hammer, setsquare and other tools of the trade. Fantastic decision not to quit Mary, who was to become the most titled woman in the history of man.
15. – Stable White Jar – Mary
There it stood a chalky white jar, calm and accepting not a mark on it’s surface, but filled with grace.
16. – Blue Page
John the baptist under a blue sky asked us all to turn a new page and get ready for what was to be writ new.
17.- Numbered Jars
O, The wisdom of Jesus
18.- Red Jar
O, Jesus is Lord
19. – Wrapped Spear – Bronze
O, Jesus is the Flower of Jesse – the bronze spear of a lilly
20. – Coloring Book
O, Jesus is Key of David
21. – Coloring Book
O, Jesus is the Radiant Dawn
22. – Coloring Book
O, Jesus is the King of the Gentiles
23. – Blue Lines Dripping — Purple Flowers
O, Jesus is Emmanuel – portent of the passion
25. – Drill with Square Shank – Bronze
O, Jesus is light of the world
Of course ART, particularly ‘untitled’ art is just begging to be titled, but thats the majesty of Cy Twombly.. you just cannot pin it to a wall, only your mind.