Tacita Dean: Sigh Sigh Sigh

La Fondazione Nicola Del Roscio, Rome

30 October 2021–26 February 2022

Thursday–Saturday, 11am–6pm (last entry, 5.30pm)

Entry free of charge



La Fondazione Nicola Del Roscio presents from Saturday 30 October 2021 to Saturday 26 February 2022 the solo show of the British European artist Tacita Dean, Sigh, Sigh, Sigh. The exhibition brings together a series of works relating to Cy Twombly (19282011), most of them never featured in Italy before.


The installation GAETA (fifty photographs plus one), 2015, was made in 2008 in Twombly’s house and studio in the Italian town of Gaeta where he made his home. They were first published as a photo essay in the catalogue of Twombly’s exhibition at MUMOK, Vienna in 2009 where Dean invited him to collaborate with her in making the original selection. In 2014 on being offered the last available Cibachrome photographic paper (colour photographs made photochemically from transparency), Dean decided to use the paper to begin realising the essay as a photographic installation while also extending it to include various other photochemical papers, some also under threat.


The 16mm film portrait Edwin Parker, 2011 shows Twombly in his everyday life. Edwin Parker was the artist’s given name, Cy an inherited family nickname. The title of Dean's film implies intimacy, an encounter with the man behind the myth. It is indeed a rare insight for Twombly always shunned publicity. Yet in Dean's film he seems totally unselfconscious as he thinks, quietly speaks, and contemplates his sculptures in a cramped studio looking out through blinds on trees and traffic in Lexington, Virginia, where he was born in 1928.


Two other 16mm films are shown and both refer obliquely to Twombly: Still Life, 2009 was shot in the studio of Giorgio Morandi in Bologna. The black and white film focuses on the meticulous markings and measurements found on the paper Morandi placed underneath the objects he painted as reminders of their position and orientation. An image of Morandi’s studio is the ‘plus one’ in GAETA (fifty photographs plus one).


Pan Amicus, 2021, a 31 minute 16mm film, was commissioned in celebration of twenty years of the Getty Center’s Richard Meier building and filmed entirely on the estate of the Getty Center and Villa, though the building itself never in fact appears. J.P. Getty himself loved Roman and Greek classical culture and the Getty Villa and surrounding landscape beguiles the visitor into imagining they are elsewhere, perhaps in Arcadia. The title refers to the Greek god Pan and Twombly’s drawing Pan, 1975, both of which have been an inspiration to Dean since her visit to Delphi in 1987 and her first encounter with Twombly’s work the same year.


The exhibition is accompanied by a reprinted version of Dean’s essay A Panegyric that was originally commissioned for the publication accompanying Cy Twombly’s solo exhibition Cycles and Seasons at Tate Modern in 2008. This essay is the ‘missing link’ of the exhibition. It begins with the opening of the lecture Tacita Dean gave on Twombly in 2003 in the ‘Artists on Artists Lecture Series’. Twombly later signed and dedicated three invitation cards for the lecture series with: Tacita, Cy; Tacita, Cy; Tacita, Cy during the opening of his show and the inaugural exhibition at Gagosian Rome: Three Notes From Salalah on December 15, 2007. The new work on paper installed in the entrance Tacita, Tacita, Tacita and the title of the show Sigh, Sigh, Sigh both playfully relate back to this encounter.



La Fondazione Roma Website


30 Oct 2021