The Cy Twombly Foundation Is Honoring the Artist’s Special Relationship With the Whitney by Gifting $2.5 Million to the Museum

The Whitney Museum’s conservation section just bought a big enhance from the Cy Twombly Foundation, which has gifted the museum $2.5 million to endow a conservator posture. 

Twombly experienced a very long marriage with the Whitney, which in 1979 was the initially New York establishment to present a solo clearly show of his work. The artist also played a main position in shaping the ethos of the Whitney’s conservation section, which is thought of amid the most forward-imagining in the region. 

Thanks to the reward, Matthew Skopek, who joined the Whitney’s conservation staff in 2007, will turn out to be the to start with Cy Twombly Conservator of Paintings. 

Carol Mancusi-Ungaro, the Whitney’s affiliate director for conservation, initial satisfied Twombly in 1992, when she was doing work on a gallery dedicated to the artist at the Menil Collection in Houston. She is now producing a e book about their two-decade collaboration. 

“Learning about him and his partnership to products served me produce my sensitivity,” Mancusi-Ungaro informed Artnet Information.

Carol Mancusi-Ungaro of the Whitney.

The conservator recalled a especially formative working experience viewing the freshly restored Sistine Chapel frescoes with Twombly in the ‘90s.

“As we were being walking to lunch, he claimed, ‘After looking at that, my art seems like hen scratches in the filth,’” she recalled. Rather than deciphering it as a self-deprecating remark, Mancusi-Ungaro took Twombly’s remark as a challenge to preserve the sense of directness he prized in his art.

“That was a fantastic summation of the worth of immediacy in his work—it is just one-on-one particular, appropriate absent,” she said. “How do you preserve that? You have to comprehend that regardless of what flaw or skip is as critical as just about anything else.”

For Mancusi-Ungaro, a conservator does their most effective get the job done by means of engaging with documentation and with the artist, alternatively than just with the item. The goal is to study to differentiate in between getting old (which need to be taken care of) and destruction (which have to be repaired).

“Working with Cy, I figured out that you don’t need to have to rush,” she pointed out. “You need to acquire time and realize the artist.”

Mancusi-Ungaro’s ordeals with Twombly performed a central job in shaping the Whitney’s method to conservation. The museum operates a “replication committee,” a cross-departmental team that authorizes the fabrication of exhibition copies, as nicely as an artists documentation application, which assembles interviews with artists and their associates to improved recognize their supplies, procedures, and attitudes towards conservation. 

“Cy Twombly, like quite a few other artists, was concerned about how art is restored, especially the therapy of paintings on canvas,” Nicola Del Roscio, the president of the Cy Twombly Basis, reported in a statement. 

The foundation has produced crystal clear just how considerably it values remaining devoted to Twombly’s initial vision: late last 12 months, it settled a contentious lawful battle with the Louvre after the museum altered a gallery that held a long term Twombly set up. The Louvre has since pledged to restore the gallery to its first configuration. 

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Kenneth Proto

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