As so often happens at these so-called "blockbuster exhibitions", the main things on show were the backs of people's heads. This was exacerbated by partition walls inserted into the large gallery space. They made it feel like we were sheep being rounded up into our artful pens.
Acting like an art-loving Luke Skywalker in the garbage compactor, I squeezed through a narrow gap at the end of one angled partition. Frantically pushing aside the forest of infrared audio-guides being wielded like lightsabers, I reached a relatively unpopulated scrap of wooden flooring.
Despite this comparative lull in proceedings I began toying seriously with the idea of making an early exit. The only reason I decided to stay was thanks to the sharp eyes and keen imagination of a girl who must have been about six or seven years old.
She'd clearly been giving her mother an impromptu guided tour because I overheard a slightly frazzled voice asking, "Where exactly is the rabbit?" Following the line of a small finger, my eyes settled on the top left hand corner of a large canvas: "It's up there!"
Remarkably, all this eagle-eyed connoisseur got as a reward for her investigative work was a less than convinced, "Oh, um, yes..."
And with that, they were gone, leaving me alone with the rabbit. Because it really was a rabbit. Grown-up art historians like the exhibition's curator, Jeremy Lewison would no doubt mistake it for the letter "V" at the start of the word "Victory" in Cy Twombly's unhelpfully labelled work, Untitled (1992, private collection, courtesy Thomas Ammann Fine Art AG, Zurich).
Lewison is incapable of seeing rabbits on account of being awed by "the immensity of the sky" and the fact that the canvas features scribbled quotations from the likes of Rilke and Baudelaire. This, he urges, "links [Twombly's] work to feelings of man's insignificance before the infinite, his vulnerability and intoxication."(1)
This is great big piles of mystification.(2) I can no more share Lewison's wordy nonsense than I can his insistence that there is a "small boat bobbing on the sea" of Twombly's Untitled.(3)
And, anyway, what sort of magician is Jeremy Lewison if he can't even pull a rabbit out of a Twombly?
So, next time you find yourself at a blockbuster, ignore all the artspeak mystification and follow a child's logic. Because "sometime we see a cloud that's dragonish".(4) Or, if you're very lucky, a Twombly that's rabbitish.
(1) Jeremy Lewison, Turner Monet Twombly: Later Paintings, Tate, 2012, p. 59.
(2) Stuart Burch, "Pistoletto piss-take", 17/09/2011, accessed 05/01/2011 at, http://www.stuartburch.com/1/post/2011/9/pistoletto-piss-take.html.
(3) Lewison, 2012, p. 59.
(4) Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra, 4.14, line 2.