Above: outside the Pinakothek der Moderne.
We had half of our weekend in Munich free, with the assignment to visit several places of cultural importance on our own. I spent most of Sunday (after a mass in the beautiful Frauen Kirche) in the Museum Brandhorst, one of the many fantastic art museums in the city. The building itself is a work of art, recently opened in 2009.
And there just so happened to be a huge exhibit of Cy Twombly, possibly my very favorite modern artist.
I fell for him two summers ago, in the San Francisco MOMA–and now, in Germany, I had the chance to visit a museum with an entire floor of his work. Here were the same odd, present colors I remembered, the same blackboards covered in fine and illegible script, the same wide reference to literature, poetry, and classical antiquity above all.
The rooms were airy, lit from above, with pale wood floors. The largest, otherwise empty except for Twombly’s gigantic canvases, featured a series of rose paintings, each with scrawled verses of poetry from Shakespeare, Dickinson, Rilke, Bachmann…
…And one had the closing lines of Eliot’s Four Quartets. Powerful stuff.
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well,
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.
The Lepanto room, with Twombly’s signature ships.
Anyway, one must really see the works in person to get any sort of idea of the their scope, presence, and beauty. But hopefully this gives some idea. Now I want to write an essay on the Classical influences in Twombly’s work. Wouldn’t that be fascinating to investigate?