This exhibition compares and contrasts two important works from the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao collection: Nine Discourses on Commodus (1963) by Cy Twombly and Mrs Lenin and the Nightingale (2008) by Georg Baselitz. Both works portray personal narratives that revisit historical figures from two chronologically distant periods, using a gesturally charged language unrelated to traditional expressionisms. In their respective practices, Twombly and Baselitz distance themselves from other contemporary artists who recreate or appropriate history in order to introduce new angles or reinterpretations of reality, and also from those who create “remakes” of historical events. Alternatively, Twombly and Baselitz present “stories” based on past events, told from the artists’ points of view, where their provocations take place within the artistic process rather than on the political stage.
Curator: Petra Joos