Sonnabend’s Cy Twombly Stash Is NY-Bound


A cache of 11 Cy Twombly drawings and paintings from the collection of the late art dealer Ileana Sonnabend will be exhibited in April in New York, many of them on public view here for the first time. The works are currently in London in the inaugural show of the new London branch of Eykyn Maclean.

Christopher Eykyn and Nicholas Maclean were co-heads of the impressionist and modern art department at Christie’s. Their cumulative time at the auction house totaled over 29 years. In 2010 they began mounting loan exibitions, starting with one devoted to Giacometti (2010) and one on Matisse (in 2011).

The Twombly drawings trace the artist’s development from 1956 to 1975—when Sonnabend had a front-row seat to Twombly’s first shows at the Castelli Gallery—and they exhibit the artist’s trademark scrawls and references to cultural and mythical figures.

Other works from the Sonnabend collection have found high-profile exhibitions and lucrative sales since her death in 2007, when they were passed to Sonnabend’s daughter, Nina Sundell and her adopted son Antonio Homem. The Twombly works are not for sale, according to the gallery.

Gagosian Gallery in 2008 mounted a show of Andy Warhol works from Sonnabend’s holdings. The same year, private dealers Franck Giraud, Lionel Pissarro and Philippe Ségalot brokered a sale of Sonnabend works.

Speaking to A.i.A., Eykyn said, “We were thrilled to be granted the honor of presenting these works together publicly for the first time. The loan exhibitions we’ve mounted allow one to have conversations with collectors one might not otherwise have, and given that we’re involved with artists from Courbet to Twombly and Richter, shows like this demonstrate the breadth of our involvement in the market.”

Cy Twombly, Untitled, 1969