Sally Mann: Remembered Light at Gagosian Gallery
Gagosian Gallery, Athens ATHENS | GREECE
NOVEMBER 02, 2017-JANUARY 20, 2018
Gagosian is pleased to present “Remembered Light,” Sally Mann’s first exhibition in Athens.
Mann is known for her images of intimate and familiar subjects rendered both sublime and disquieting: children, landscape, family, and mortality. In previous projects, she explored relationships between parent and child, husband and wife, brother and sister, nature and history.
In this exhibition of color and black-and-white photographs, taken between 1999 and 2012, she records in fleeting impressions the studio of the late Cy Twombly, her close friend and mentor. Following presentations at Gagosian New York, Paris, and Rome, this exhibition marks Mann’s first dedicated exhibition in Greece.
Twombly and Mann were both born and raised in the southeastern state of Virginia. The landscape to which he returned each year is also the memory scape of Mann’s connection to him. In her recent and celebrated memoir Hold Still (2015), which was nominated for the National Book Award for Nonfiction, Mann recalls Twombly’s elemental nature, his Southern courtesy, his wry and gentle humor. Of their friendship she writes, “Our part of the South, remote, beautiful, and patinaed with the past, allows us such a remove, the distance of another time.”
Under Mann’s gaze, and the warm light of Virginia, the accumulations and ordinary objects in Twombly’s studio reveal themselves not only as evidence of a richly imaginative and cultivated life lived and marked by tactility, but also as the overflow of his general modus operandi—in Simon Schama’s words, “the leftovers, smears, and stains, and an absence turned into a presence.” Remembered Light, Untitled (Solitary Print on Wall) (2012) shows a wall of the Virginia studio, and, stapled to it, a photograph taken by Twombly in Gaeta. In Twombly’s image, as captured by Mann, there is a just discernible view of a classical bust arranged with several vases; silhouetted by the coastal light, these shapes exude a quiet sense of nostalgia. And with Remembered Light, Untitled (Squat White Sculpture and Paint Edges) (2012), she indicates the tactile processes leading to the creation of one of his sculptures. Even without the artist’s actual presence, she is able to vividly evoke the traces of his daily life and work.
Mann’s poetic images of time recorded capture fragments and deposits of Twombly’s artistic life. As well, they speak to her deft, sharp ability to record interiority and her singular eye for the immediate, the intimate, and the present becoming memory.
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