[New York Peasant by Wilfrid: March 16, 2016]
I don't write about galleries as much as I used to, but I did want to note the opening of the Met Breuer (in the former Whitney, of course), and especially a series of six late paintings by Cy Twombly.
A snatched iPhone panorama is distorted, of course--that's a flat wall--but maybe it gives a glimpse of what the works entail.
For the most part, the exhibit does consist of paintings (and sculptures) which were quite obviously left incomplete for some reason or other. (Some of the unfinished sculptures are inadvertently amusing.) But it also drifts, with curatorial portentousness, in the direction of "works in progess" and the question of whether an art work is ever finished. This means including works--a DeKooning woman, for example--which simply aren't unfinished in the sense that there's obviously a bit missing.
I overheard one bystander say, "They should know better how artists work." I agreed. The model of a completed picture envisioned by the painter, then recreated on canvas or paper, is generally very unhelpful, certainly when it comes to modern art. Art works are generally made, not imagined then reproduced.
The Twombly paintings stand apart from even these considerations. As the sign on the wall makes clear, the Breuer can adduce no evidence that they were unfinished, although they seem to have gone unshown. They're magnificent. Pure painting. Rich, mostly dark green cascades down the length of the canvas, over-running the frame. Battling it, an explosion of white paint, high on the picture plane. Sometimes the white paint is visibly, painfully worked; in the far left picture, it seems to appar spontaneously, without the intervention of the hand.
Don't worry about the Breuer's notes on forests and the Mediterranean. This is Twombly's usual subject: the return of the absent god. Unmissable.