Commentary on DER LIEBE GOTT STECKT IM DETAIL: Reading Twombly

“The wall metaphor, the dirty graffiti, the emphasis on tactility, the sparse and additive configuration of the works…” Twombly’s work takes on a new concept of ‘human scale’ in which the markmaking more closely immitates the mark of an average person, even within the context of a larger space. “Twombly…exemplifies the importance of the little.” The seemingly insignificant marks of what has been described as ‘scribbles’ or ‘graffiti’ are signs of a passerby, a small notion of ‘I was here’. “He paints ‘huge white canvases’ but they do not dwarf you, for their population is not up to scale: one does not back out in awe but feels invited forward, compelled to attend to the myraid liliputian marks with myopic attention.” His use of scale is curious…normally in a large scale work, the imagery is translated in some way into large scale whether through individual mark or overall composition. “…it’s internal scale is minute.”

“Twombly’s graphism can, like palimpsests, scrawl one upon the other but they expand, little in or out – they grow but they do not breathe” pg. 64 palimpsests: a parchment or the like from which writing has been partially or completely erased to make room for another text. It’s curious to me on pg 70, when the author mentions the time it took (about five years; as did Picasso after the making of Demoiselles d’Avignon) for Twombly to fully realize and master the “atomistic graffiti” that he accomplished in his work Panorama, and how to continue forward to completely “discard the residual illusionism still lurching in Pollock’s webs.”

All content sighted is derived from DER LIEBE GOTT STECKT IM DETAIL: Reading Twombly by Yve-Alain Bois
                                                                                                                                                                   

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