In an interview, Eric Baudelaire describes one of the origins for his interest in the idea of the Anabasis theme as follows: I don’t know why this figure is so important to me, but I remember already being touched by it when reading Charles Baudelaire’s Flowers of Evil (1857) as a teenager. You can look […]
In his essay about Cy Twombly, ‘The Wisdom of Art’, Roland Barthes introduces the Latin adjective rarus as a way of describing the dispersed elements of the artist’s canvases. In a lyrical moment in which Barthes recalls his own experience of the Mediterranean, Barthes pinpoints the sources for this Latin term in a passage from […]
I will write a longer post when I have more time about the work of Tunisian-Russian artist Nadia Kaabi-Linke. For now, for the mere playfulness of the visual juxtaposition, here is her 2008 work These goddamned boys all stealing and Cy Twombly’s Achaeans in Battle, from his 1978 Fifty Days at Iliam series.
I recently revisited the Guggenheim Bilbao, which meant spending some time with my favourite work in their collection: Cy Twombly’s Nine Discourse on Commodus (1964). I have always found this work compelling, both in and of itself, not only as a Classicist, but also because of the mythic story of it first being shown at […]
Sometimes a Minus Plato post needs to leave all discussion/explanation/analysis in the background and we should simply just admire what contemporary artists are capable of. Look, see. Richard Hawkins, Untitled (Slash/Twombly) (detail), 1992 Cy Twombly, Fifty Days at Iliam: Shades of Achilles, Patroclus, and Hector, 1978
There is no original text, no “right,” perfect, whole object; we only have a broken bit of ceramic, mediated by centuries. This is how Page duBois, in her book Sappho is Burning (complete with a Nancy Spero work on the cover), describes the potsherd that contains what we know of as Sappho fragment 2. Here […]
Tomorrow I will be giving a talk along with Ahuvia Kahane (Royal Holloway) on the topic of ‘Cy Twombly, Modern Painting and the Reception of the Classics’. It will be part of the interdisciplinary research network hosted by the Institute of Classical Studies called TRIVIUM: Classical Intersections. Sadly I cannot be in London in person […]
In the Spring, I recorded a podcast for the Philadelphia Museum of Art about Cy Twombly’s Classicism. The first half is a talk based on the introduction I delivered at the American Philological Association Annual Meeting in January for a panel I put together called Abstracting Classics: Cy Twombly, Modern Art and the Ancient World […]