Works by Cy Twombly open new Gagosian space

It’s become a tradition for American art dealer Larry Gagosian to inaugurate new spaces with Cy Twombly. This is why works by the 80-year-old US artist were the first to go on display at the ground-floor venue on 3 Merlin Street, home to the brand-new wing of one of the world’s most prominent galleries. The arrival of the Gagosian Gallery in Athens has led to plenty of speculation regarding its timing, choice of city and inclusion of Greek artists. For the gallery staff, the answers are simple and straightforward: The current crisis doesn’t seem to be affecting the gallery’s expansion plans, art plays a major role in the history of Athens and, while there are no plans for hosting works by Greek artists in the near future, it is not being excluded in the long run. For the time being, however, the lead actor is Twombly – and Twombly alone. In the small, frugal and personal space, the four large canvases feature verses – in English: «Leaving Paphos ringed with waves,» an excerpt of an original poem by Alcman, the 7th-century BC Greek choral lyric poet from Sparta. «It’s central to me. I’m a Mediterranean painter,» says the artist, of Alcman’s verse. Twombly on Madison Avenue and Twombly on Merlin Street. Running parallel to the Athens exhibition is a new series of bronze Twombly sculptures currently on display at the Gagosian Gallery in New York. What an honor this is. And for all those fearing that the venue caters to only a tight group of collectors able to purchase works from the famous gallery owner, there’s some good news: Everyone is welcome at the new space, provided they ring the bell, or better still, call before they drop by, so that the gallery’s well-mannered staff may dedicate enough time and attention for them to truly comprehend the works on view. Gagosian Gallery, 3 Merlin, Kolonaki, tel 210.364.0215