Across the street from the main museum building, the eponymous Cy Twombly Gallery houses a body of work that is at once baroque and spare, ancient and modern.
A collaboration between the Menil, the Dia Foundation, and the artist himself, the Cy Twombly Gallery that opened in 1995 reflects this institution’s commitment to individual artists and to a standard of presentation that honors the creator’s intent as it immerses visitors in a carefully created environment. Renzo Piano’s second U.S. museum commission began with a design sketched by the artist. The Cy Twombly Gallery is both grand (evoking a palazzo in Italy, Twombly’s adopted country, where he worked for decades) and modest (its entrance faces away from the street, toward a great live oak tree on the east lawn). Such contradictions are embodied in the building itself, a stout, stony block whose airy roof the architect and artist likened to a butterfly. Filtered through a louvered roof and ceilings of white canvas sailcloth, natural light plays softly on the works of art, plaster walls, and white oak floors.