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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

A new take on modern art at the MFA

Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
New Cy Twombly exhibit brings contemporary art to the MFA.

The Museum of Fine Arts opened a new exhibit, “Making Past Present: Cy Twombly,” on Jan. 14, commemorating Cy Twombly and his creative vision.

Located on the second floor in the Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art, the MFA takes visitors on a walk through Twombly’s work, and how the artist used historical artwork to shape his own modern vision. 

Twombly’s main inspiration was Greek and Roman culture, which is evident throughout the exhibit. His work is accompanied by ancient art pieces from the MFA’s collection. Such ancient pieces include an inscribed marble fragment, which is similar to the Roman street walls he was inspired by. While his work mimics these classic pieces, in some parts of the exhibit, visitors may see how Twombly is trying to recreate these through his modern style.

Through his scribbles and different perspectives of art, he gives classic pieces a contemporary twist. This perspective made the title “Making Past Present” very fitting. Twombly’s philosophy was that modern art is rooted in the past, which is where the majority of his inspiration stems from.

At the entrance, a wall covered in 30 sheets of scribbled paper welcomes visitors. Although this piece of Twombly’s is untitled, his abstract work is still astonishing. There is not much known about this piece, but it is a staple to the exhibit.

While other artists seem more conventional, Twombly takes a different approach.

“He’s looking at the past and he’s taking and making it something new. I think that would be something I would point to in his importance,” said Emily, an MFA staff member.

Visitors can find a passage on the wall after entering the exhibit, explaining Twombly’s life and how he explored the past to support his 20th-century style. The writings on the walls of this exhibit shed light on Twombly’s vision, and what he hoped to achieve. 

His personal collection of antiques are also shown in this exhibit, making this the first time they were displayed to the public. 

Twombly’s paintings are bright and vibrant — especially with his color choice and unique style. The emotion each piece holds is astounding. His brushstrokes across the canvas show how he beautifully put a new take on ancient Mediterranean art. 

Twombly had a passion for ancient Latin and Greek poetry. His impressive drawings were inspired by readings that have no actual transcription on them. However, his scribbles and figures make viewers think about what the reading may mean. This modern and abstract work brings a new meaning to contemporary art, and how every art piece develops from inspiration. 

Emily also explained that Twombly may inspire more artists to take from the past.

“It’s a part of artistic practice just generally…to look at the past and reinterpret it. Rather than to tell the same story, as seen in classical art,” Emily said

This is an astonishing exhibit to see; Visitors will be immersed in his creativity and how he turned ancient Mediterranean art into a modernized style.

“Making Past Present: Cy Twombly” is on view at the MFA until May 7.

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William Fithian
William Fithian, Staff Writer | he/him

William is a sophomore broadcast journalism major from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. When he is not writing for the Journal, he's usually trying new foods around Boston and exploring the city with his friends.

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A new take on modern art at the MFA