Turner Monet Twombly: Later Paintings, exhibition guide Introduction

Turner Monet Twombly Later Paintings exhibition banner

Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851), Claude Monet (1840–1926) and Cy Twombly (1928–2011) were pioneering artists, each in their own time revered and reviled. According to their detractors, they painted with reckless abandon while according to their supporters they pushed the boundaries of painting. Twombly described himself as a ‘Romantic symbolist’, linking himself to the great painters of the nineteenth century. Like Turner’s, his works invoke myth and history, and additionally mourn the loss of classical reference within contemporary culture. Monet looked closely at Turner’s work and Twombly was a keen admirer of them both.

Turner, Monet, Twombly: Later Paintings presents works from the second half of the artists’ careers, when the outward battles have been won but the inward battles commence. In their late paintings the three artists engage in the struggle to come to terms with the passage of time, mortality and loss, as well as asserting a continuing vitality through sensuality and eroticism. In seven themes Turner, Monet and Twombly are brought together, not in competition, but as a means to explore the ways in which artists share interests, values and preoccupations.

The exhibition is constructed as a dialogue where the three artists converse across centuries, questioning and challenging each other as though each were present in the same room at the same time.

Through the juxtaposition of their work, the exhibition also aims to underline the modernity and undiminished relevance of Turner’s and Monet’s work while simultaneously revealing the strong classical traits in Twombly’s paintings and sculptures.

‘Turner Monet Twombly: Later Paintings’ is organised by Moderna Museet, Stockholm (8 October 2011 –15 January 2012) in collaboration with Tate Liverpool and Staatsgalerie Stuttgart (11 February –28 May 2012). The exhibition is curated by Jeremy Lewison, formerly Tate Director of Collections and now an independent curator, assisted by Jo Widoff, Moderna Museet and at Tate Liverpool by Eleanor Clayton. 

Turner Monet Twombly: Later Paintings Room 1: Beauty, Power, Space Beauty, Power, Space

Turner Monet Twombly: Later Paintings, exhibition at Tate Liverpool 22 June – 28 October 2012, exhibition guide

Turner Monet Twombly: Later Paintings Room 2: Atmosphere Atmosphere

Turner Monet Twombly: Later Paintings, exhibition at Tate Liverpool 22 June – 28 October 2012, exhibition guide

Turner Monet Twombly: Later Paintings Room 3: Fire and Water Fire and Water

Turner Monet Twombly: Later Paintings, exhibition at Tate Liverpool 22 June – 28 October 2012, exhibition guide

Turner Monet Twombly: Later Paintings Room 4: The Vital Force The Vital Force

Turner Monet Twombly: Later Paintings, exhibition at Tate Liverpool 22 June – 28 October 2012, exhibition guide

Turner Monet Twombly: Later Paintings Room 5: Naught so Sweet as Melancholy Naught so Sweet as Melancholy

Turner Monet Twombly: Later Paintings, exhibition at Tate Liverpool 22 June – 28 October 2012, exhibition guide

Turner Monet Twombly: Later Paintings Room 6: The Seasons The Seasons

Turner Monet Twombly: Later Paintings, exhibition at Tate Liverpool 22 June – 28 October 2012, exhibition guide

Turner Monet Twombly: Later Paintings Room 7: A Floating World A Floating World

Turner Monet Twombly: Later Paintings, exhibition at Tate Liverpool 22 June – 28 October 2012, exhibition guide