I must admit from the get-go that I have never been a die-hard fan of Cy Twombly’s work; I do like his photographs and their faded hues, but his paintings often left me skeptical, or even worried. His retrospective at the Centre Pompidou (November 30, 2016 – April 24, 2017) had the merit to help me understand why. To me, Twombly oscillates between two poles: one is austere, abstraction-oriented, pared down, reduced to its simplest expression; the other is expressive, exuberant, almost baroque, and weighed down with references that can be seen as pretentious.
I have liked the work of Mona Hatoum, a lot and for a long time (the Centre Pompidou is showing her works until September 28): her first daring performances, her empowerment as an Arab women, her use of the body as a working tool and weapon, her brutality and soberness. And in this exhibit, I have been happy to find anew the inspiration that has filled her for so long in some pieces. I am still just as moved by the Keffieh woven with human hair, with its sexual ambiguity and its tension between resistance and ordinariness, just as moved by all the pieces where hair (hers, and other women’s) are rolled, mixed or braided into jewels, ornaments or cloth. Continue reading