In our new monthly column, The Big Picture, Cody Delistraty will travel across Europe—from Copenhagen to Dublin to Berlin to London—searching out essential artworks and exhibitions that speak to a wider cultural context, such as our desire for wanderlust or the complexities of artistic romances. In this first segment, he explores the complex burden placed upon the lovers, close friends, and heirs of famous artists after they die.
Joan Punyet Miró, a grandson of the late artist Joan Miró. Photo: Kika Triay for Ultima Hora
During a recent retrospective of Cy Twombly, Nicola del Roscio walked through the Centre Pompidou, in Paris, looking at “Coronation of Sesostris” (2000), a ten-panel series that depicts the ancient Egyptian myth of the sun’s movement from morning to night. The series is a mélange of disparate marks, Expressionist painting, and poetic quotes that begins with frenzied childlike scratch marks before ending on a somber, more formalist tableau that suggests a reflection on death. Del Roscio wore a green sweater with a dark, many-buttoned petticoat, and his hands were pushed deep into his pockets. He was quiet as he regarded the birth-to-death work of the man he’s spent his entire adult life assisting and advising, and—after the artist died in 2011 and del Roscio became the president of the Cy Twombly Foundation—celebrating and protecting.
Del Roscio has small bags under his eyes, but his smile is genuine and his charm and vulnerability are that of someone much younger than his seventy-three years. “There’s something magic about Nicola,” said David Baum, the Cy Twombly Foundation’s secretary. “You want to pick him up and put him in your pocket.” And yet, charming as he is, del Roscio is a keeper of secrets. Twombly was a cipher even to close friends, but to del Roscio he was a confidant and an intimate. Read More