Twombly & Conjuring Spirits

photograph of twombly’s drawing . stacy elaine dacheux . 2012

“Letters, in general, are meant to make up words and words are meant to make up sentences and sentences are meant to convey meaning. Breaking sentences back down into individual words and words back down into individual letters has the opposite effect. Meaning is reduced, taken apart, decomposed. Still, the letters and the words contain a lingering residue of the meaning they are meant to lead toward even if they never get there.” – Morgan Meis

There are no letters or words in this particular Cy Twombly piece, noted above, which I photographed at Michael Kohn Gallery off of Beverly Blvd., but the clumping of lines does convey a lingering effect: a certain primal state of grace that happens in childhood– while language is developing. The need to communicate overbears the logistics of execution. This is an emotional place to be– inside bursting confinement– and for art to exist at this capacity is rather remarkable.

“Roberto Calasso has written of the Greek myths: ‘All the powers of the cult of gods have migrated into a single, immobile and solitary act: that of reading.’ Twombly’s caveat, however, would be that the gods’ powers lie not in a single act, but in the mobilisation of the space between reading and seeing.” — Claire Daigle

Reading or recording energy: when a psychic scribbles on a notepad, conjuring signals from the other side. The message is not in the lines, but in the spirit which moves the hand.

Automatic writing. Evoking ghosts. Waking the dead.

I like to think that Twombly’s work is pungent for all the above reasons. It is not just art, but an artifact, documenting our human desire to never be alone, matched by our intrinsic sentence to always be alone.


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