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Remembered Light: Cy Twombly in Lexington Hardcover – October 4, 2016
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While Sally Mann became famous (or infamous) for her "Immediate Family" photographs, in my opinion, her subsequent work has really been more mature and interesting. Works like "Deep South", "Motherland" and "What Remains" showcase her insight and talent much more effectively than the early family pictures. It's a bit odd that I like her later work so much since it's more Neo-Romantic than I usually can bear. Yet her work has moved me deeply and I will always respect her for those photographs.
But this project is a failure. The photos fail to convey emotion or insight. First of all, photographs of Twombly is nowhere to be found. The images here are of his studio work areas. No paintings, complete or unfinished, are depicted. The essence of Cy Twombly's jubilant paintings is nowhere to be found here. In fact, more is missing from this project than is presented. Mann's large format, hand-coated glass plate style with its soft gray tones and soft focus doesn't work. When she substitutes digital techniques for her handmade techniques, the tones and colors follow the same muted style of her collodion process. The clash of Mann's somber style and tones and Twombly's unseen inherent exuberant colors just doesn't work.
I have not read the text accompanying the photographs but I cannot imagine it offers anything worthwhile.
Great artists have failures as well as triumphs. That's because they're willing to take risks. Sally Mann has taken several risks in the past and achieved some remarkable triumphs. Unfortunately, "Remembered Light" is a failure.