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Review of Cy Twombly Gallery

Cy Twombly Gallery
1515 Sul Ross, Houston, TX 77006 (Neartown/ Montrose)
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Ranked #13 of 38 Shopping in Houston
Type: Art Galleries, Shopping
Attraction details
Top Contributor
138 reviews 138 reviews
34 attraction reviews
Reviews in 71 cities Reviews in 71 cities
112 helpful votes 112 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2013

I cannot understand how this can be called art. A number of large canvases which have marks on them which could have been made by young children in first year at school. Perhaps Twombly is a talented artist but I did not see any evidence of talent in these "pictures" Fortunately we had not paid to enter the gallery

Visited April 2013
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9 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
92 helpful votes 92 helpful votes
“Eye-opening, heart-changing experience.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

In a lifetime of traveling and visiting museums I have rarely been so moved, utterly enraptured, as at the Cy Twombly gallery in Houston. I originally came to see the Rothko Chapel and was slightly underwhelmed; although I was somewhat aware and vaguely appreciated Twomblys work, I had no idea what a shock it would be to be in several rooms with gigantic canvases and complete series of the artists works. I now believe Twombly possibly was the greatest painter of the 20th century. A telling confirmation is when you visit the nearby Menil collection and the Fine Arts Museum, and almost can't bear to see the works of surrealists (no surprise, Max Ernst, Margritte, Chirico etc were great conceivers but bad painters) or even Picasso or Rauschenberg, as their work seems so shallow and schematic after having experienced the incredible freedom, power, depth and delicacy of Twomblys work.

I remember only having been moved as much by painting two or three times in my life: first is the Turner gallery at the Tate Britain in London, then the "Nymphéas" of Claude Monet at the Orangerie in Paris (and also some very late and abstract Monets at the Marmottan). There is an obvious filiation between these three artists, and behold, at the adjacent bookshop there was a huge catalog of an exhibition that united them: "Turner,Monet,Twombly". Detractors, allergics and indifferents of Twombly like the previous poster should maybe start there: begin to delve yourselves into the late paintings of Turner, then Monet, and Twombly will grow on you., travel to London and Paris (and Venice with Titian, to who's colors and strokes Twombly owes so much), before going to Houston

The gallery is organized chronologically starting on the left. I mistakenly entered at the right and thus was confronted with one of the latest and the largest work of the collection: "Say Goodbye, Catullus, to the Shores of Asia Minor", a gigantic painting about the size of a swimming pool. This work is so impressive and evocative, you can literally sit there for hours and follow the flow of the painting on a 2/3 empty canvas, evolving from tiny pencil scribblings to gigantic and violent color patches: is if you assisted at the creation of the Universe, or just the birth of a cell, a dream, a feeling or a sensation.

The next highlight is the series "analysis of the rose as sentimental despair", five paintings in a completely different style, heavy drippings of red covered by white: like a look inside a bleeding body, were the romantic metaphors of the rose and the heart, of love and suffering are uniquely blended. Another highlight are the chalk and blackboard drawings, as are the very unique and quirky sculptures.

Twombly followed throughout the 50 year span this museum covers a very consistent approach and style, but unrelentlessly got better as he aged. It thus might be interesting to view the gallery twice, from old to young (as I did) and then from young to old.

I have now left Houston and really regret it since I think about these paintings every day. I might change my travel plans and go back to Houston or travel to Philadelphia to see another incredible Twombly room.

Visited November 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
32 attraction reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
74 helpful votes 74 helpful votes
“Total waste of space”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2012

I now know what a waste of space looks like. This gallery has huge rooms adorned with huge canvases on which the “artist” has attached a pencil to a spider and let it roam free. He hasn’t even bothered to name these scribbling. “Lost for words” would be my description. One of the “art” exhibits is a pile of plaster. Probably left by the artist as it was way too complicated to shape into anything meaningful.
Talk about “Emperors clothes” syndrome.
Two good points. It’s free. It is close to the Menil collection so you haven’t wasted a trip.
Don’t waste your time.

Visited December 2011
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“You will either love it or hate it.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2011 via mobile

This artist has an interesting methos of scribbling and splashing paint about. Some pieces are very well done, such as a series of streams. Others will leave you wondering about "art." Worth a stop if you are visiting the Menil.

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