15 Mar 2017 5:15pm - 7:00pm SG2, Alison Richard Building, Sidgwick Site


This event is free to attend and no registration is required.

How does literary reference affect the interpretation of largely abstract works? In her recent book, Reading Cy Twombly: Poetry in Paint (Princeton University Press, 2016), Mary Jacobus focuses on the artist’s use of poetry in his work, which often includes handwritten words and phrases—-naming or quoting poets ranging from Sappho, Homer, and Virgil to Mallarmé, Rilke, and Cavafy. In the artist’s own words, he “never really separated painting and literature.” Mary Jacobus's opening presentation will be followed by a wide-ranging discussion with Peter de Bolla (English) and Alyce Mahon (Art History) spanning both Twombly's work (currently the focus of a Pompidou retrospective) and that of his friend Robert Rauschenberg (currently the focus of a Tate Modern retrospective).

Followed by a reception; books will be available for purchase.

Mary Jacobus, Professor Emerita of English at the University of Cambridge, was Director of CRASSH from 2006-2011. She has written widely on Romanticism, feminism, psychoanalysis, and visual art. Alyce Mahon is a Reader in Modern and Contemporary Art History at the Department of History of Art. She is currently researching the American Surrealist Dorothea Tanning (1910-2012) and curating the first major retrospective exhibition of Tanning for the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid for 2018-2019. Peter de Bolla is Professor of Cultural History and Aesthetics and Direct of the Concept Lab at CRASSH.


For administrative enquiries please email Michelle Maciejewska.


Tel: +44 1223 766886
Email enquiries@crassh.cam.ac.uk