Tacita Dean - Sigh, Sigh, Sigh La Fondazione Nicola Del Roscio
The exhibition brings together a series of works by Tacita Dean, including three 16mm films, photographs, and new work on paper. Some of the works on view relate to Cy Twombly (1928-2011) and make their first appreance in Italy.
The installation GAETA (fifty photographs plus one), 2015, was made in 2008 in Twombly’s house and studio in the Italian town of Gaeta where he made his home. They were first published as a photo essay in the catalogue of Twombly’s exhibition at MUMOK, Vienna in 2009 where Dean invited him to collaborate with her in making the original selection. In 2014 on being offered the last available Cibachrome photographic paper (color photographs made photochemically from transparency), Dean decided to use the paper to begin realizing the essay as a photographic installation while also extending it to include various other photochemical papers, some also under threat.
The 16mm film portrait Edwin Parker, 2011 shows Twombly in his everyday life. Edwin Parker was the artist’s given name, Cy an inherited family nickname. The title of Dean's film implies intimacy, an encounter with the man behind the myth. It is indeed a rare insight for Twombly always shunned publicity. Yet in Dean's film he seems totally unselfconscious as he thinks, quietly speaks, and contemplates his sculptures in a cramped studio looking out – through blinds – on trees and traffic in Lexington, Virginia, where he was born in 1928.
Two other 16mm films are shown and both refer obliquely to Twombly: Still Life, 2009 was shot in the studio of Giorgio Morandi in Bologna. The black and white film focuses on the meticulous markings and measurements found on the paper Morandi placed underneath the objects he painted as reminders of their position and orientation. An image of Morandi’s studio is the ‘plus one’ in GAETA (fifty photographs plus one).
Pan Amicus, 2021, a 31 minute 16mm film, was commissioned in celebration of twenty years of the Getty Center’s Richard Meier building and filmed entirely on the estate of the Getty Center and Villa, though the building itself never in fact appears. J.P. Getty himself loved Roman and Greek classical culture and the Getty Villa and surrounding landscape beguiles the visitor into imagining they are elsewhere, perhaps in Arcadia. The title refers to the Greek god Pan and Twombly’s drawing Pan, 1975, both of which have been an inspiration to Dean since her visit to Delphi in 1987 and her first encounter with Twombly’s work the same year.
The exhibition is accompanied by a reprinted version of Dean’s essay A Panegyric that was originally commissioned for the publication accompanying Cy Twombly’s solo exhibition Cycles and Seasons at Tate Modern in 2008.