On hearing 'four seasons' you could be forgiven for visualising an hotel or pizza – in certain contexts. But not if Cy Twombly or the De La Warr pavilion are in the same sentence. Taking on one of the most recurrent, well known and adopted themes in Western art, poetry and music without verging into the 'naff' is not easy and takes a degree of confidence, skill and knowledge.
Twombly (1928 – 2011) 'one of the great American painters of the second half of the 20th century,' was a true Euro-phile and his beautiful, colour based cycle begins with Autunno (Autumn), inspired by the wine harvest in Bassano in Teverina, Italy. Primavera (Spring) features a column of vibrant yellow light on red curves which relate to traditional Egyptian rowing boats from the Book of the Dead. The boat forms are repeated in Estate (Summer) together with the partially legible fragments from a poem by the Greek poet George Seferis (1900-71) referring to the transience of youth and the passage of time. In Inverno (Winter), the boats are depicted in an altered state in heavy black paint conveying a sense of winter’s harsh winds and bleak cold.
The Del La Warr pavillion will surely be an excellent venue for this exhibition, not only in its ability to flood a room with light but also in its symbolically appropriate circular nature.