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Cy Twombly

Cy Twombly, Min-Oe, 1951 Bitumen and oil-based house paint on canvas, 34 ¼ × 40 inches (87 × 101.6 cm)© Cy Twombly Foundation

Cy Twombly, Min-Oe, 1951

Bitumen and oil-based house paint on canvas, 34 ¼ × 40 inches (87 × 101.6 cm)
© Cy Twombly Foundation

Cy Twombly, Untitled, 1953 House paint and wax on fabric and wood with twine, wire, and nails, 15 ¼ × 9 ⅞ × 4 inches (38.7 × 25 × 10.2 cm)© Cy Twombly Foundation

Cy Twombly, Untitled, 1953

House paint and wax on fabric and wood with twine, wire, and nails, 15 ¼ × 9 ⅞ × 4 inches (38.7 × 25 × 10.2 cm)
© Cy Twombly Foundation

Cy Twombly, Untitled, 1954 Wax crayon, gouache, and colored pencil on paper, 19 × 25 inches (48.2 × 63.5 cm), Museum of Modern Art, New York© Cy Twombly Foundation

Cy Twombly, Untitled, 1954

Wax crayon, gouache, and colored pencil on paper, 19 × 25 inches (48.2 × 63.5 cm), Museum of Modern Art, New York
© Cy Twombly Foundation

Cy Twombly, Sperlonga Drawing, 1959 Pencil, oil-based house paint, and wax crayon on paper, 27 ½ × 39 ¼ inches (69.9 × 99.7 cm)© Cy Twombly Foundation

Cy Twombly, Sperlonga Drawing, 1959

Pencil, oil-based house paint, and wax crayon on paper, 27 ½ × 39 ¼ inches (69.9 × 99.7 cm)
© Cy Twombly Foundation

Cy Twombly, Untitled (New York City), 1968 Oil-based house paint and wax crayon on canvas, 68 × 85 inches (172.7 × 215.9 cm)© Cy Twombly Foundation

Cy Twombly, Untitled (New York City), 1968

Oil-based house paint and wax crayon on canvas, 68 × 85 inches (172.7 × 215.9 cm)
© Cy Twombly Foundation

Cy Twombly, Veil of Orpheus, 1968 House paint, crayon, and graphite pencil on primed canvas, 90 × 192 inches (228.6 × 487.7 cm)© Cy Twombly Foundation

Cy Twombly, Veil of Orpheus, 1968

House paint, crayon, and graphite pencil on primed canvas, 90 × 192 inches (228.6 × 487.7 cm)
© Cy Twombly Foundation

Cy Twombly, Untitled (Bolsena), 1969 Oil, crayon, and pencil on canvas© Cy Twombly Foundation

Cy Twombly, Untitled (Bolsena), 1969

Oil, crayon, and pencil on canvas
© Cy Twombly Foundation

Cy Twombly, Untitled, 1969 Oil and crayon on canvas, 79 × 103 ⅜ inches (200.7 × 262.6 cm), Whitney Museum of American Art, New York© Cy Twombly Foundation

Cy Twombly, Untitled, 1969

Oil and crayon on canvas, 79 × 103 ⅜ inches (200.7 × 262.6 cm), Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
© Cy Twombly Foundation

Cy Twombly, Mars and the Artist, 1975 Oil, wax crayon, charcoal, and pencil with drawing paper, cardboard, and staples on paper, 55 ⅞ × 50 ¼ inches (142 × 127.5 cm)© Cy Twombly Foundation

Cy Twombly, Mars and the Artist, 1975

Oil, wax crayon, charcoal, and pencil with drawing paper, cardboard, and staples on paper, 55 ⅞ × 50 ¼ inches (142 × 127.5 cm)
© Cy Twombly Foundation

Cy Twombly, Malevich in Pointe-à-Pitre, 1980 Tempera, pencil, and staples on handmade rag paper, 30 ⅛ × 22 ¼ inches (76.4 × 56.4 cm)© Cy Twombly Foundation

Cy Twombly, Malevich in Pointe-à-Pitre, 1980

Tempera, pencil, and staples on handmade rag paper, 30 ⅛ × 22 ¼ inches (76.4 × 56.4 cm)
© Cy Twombly Foundation

Cy Twombly, Untitled, 1989 Acrylic and pencil on paper, 30 × 22 ¼ inches (76 × 56.5 cm), Cy Twombly Foundation© Cy Twombly Foundation

Cy Twombly, Untitled, 1989

Acrylic and pencil on paper, 30 × 22 ¼ inches (76 × 56.5 cm), Cy Twombly Foundation
© Cy Twombly Foundation

Cy Twombly, Untitled, 1990 Acrylic, wax crayon, and pencil on handmade paper, 30 ⅝ × 21 ⅝ inches (77.8 × 54.8 cm), Cy Twombly Foundation© Cy Twombly Foundation

Cy Twombly, Untitled, 1990

Acrylic, wax crayon, and pencil on handmade paper, 30 ⅝ × 21 ⅝ inches (77.8 × 54.8 cm), Cy Twombly Foundation
© Cy Twombly Foundation

Cy Twombly, Untitled, 2001 Acrylic, wax crayon, and cut-and-pasted paper on paper, 48 ⅞ × 39 inches (124 × 99 cm)© Cy Twombly Foundation. Photo: Rob McKeever

Cy Twombly, Untitled, 2001

Acrylic, wax crayon, and cut-and-pasted paper on paper, 48 ⅞ × 39 inches (124 × 99 cm)
© Cy Twombly Foundation. Photo: Rob McKeever

Cy Twombly, Untitled, 2003 Acrylic on canvas, 84 × 106 inches (213.4 × 269.2 cm)© Cy Twombly Foundation

Cy Twombly, Untitled, 2003

Acrylic on canvas, 84 × 106 inches (213.4 × 269.2 cm)
© Cy Twombly Foundation

Cy Twombly, Brushes (Lexington), 2005 Color dry-print, 17 × 11 inches (43.2 × 27.9 cm), edition of 6© Nicola Del Roscio Foundation

Cy Twombly, Brushes (Lexington), 2005

Color dry-print, 17 × 11 inches (43.2 × 27.9 cm), edition of 6
© Nicola Del Roscio Foundation

Cy Twombly, Note III, 2005–07 Acrylic on wood panel, 96 × 144 inches (243.8 × 365.8 cm)© Cy Twombly Foundation

Cy Twombly, Note III, 2005–07

Acrylic on wood panel, 96 × 144 inches (243.8 × 365.8 cm)
© Cy Twombly Foundation

Cy Twombly, Bacchus, 2006–08 Acrylic on canvas, 124 ⅞ × 159 ⅛ inches (317 × 404.2 cm), Cy Twombly Foundation© Cy Twombly Foundation

Cy Twombly, Bacchus, 2006–08

Acrylic on canvas, 124 ⅞ × 159 ⅛ inches (317 × 404.2 cm), Cy Twombly Foundation
© Cy Twombly Foundation

Cy Twombly, The Rose (IV), 2008 Acrylic on wood panel, 99 ¼ × 291 ⅜ inches (252 × 740 cm)© Cy Twombly Foundation

Cy Twombly, The Rose (IV), 2008

Acrylic on wood panel, 99 ¼ × 291 ⅜ inches (252 × 740 cm)
© Cy Twombly Foundation

Cy Twombly, Light Flowers V (Gaeta), 2008 Color dry-print, 17 × 11 inches (43.2 × 27.9 cm), edition of 6© Nicola Del Roscio Foundation

Cy Twombly, Light Flowers V (Gaeta), 2008

Color dry-print, 17 × 11 inches (43.2 × 27.9 cm), edition of 6
© Nicola Del Roscio Foundation

Cy Twombly, Untitled (Lexington), 2009 Wood, white paint, cardboard, yellow acrylic, and plastic strings, 21 × 12 × 9 ½ inches (53.3 × 30.5 × 24.1 cm)© Cy Twombly Foundation. Photo: Rob McKeever

Cy Twombly, Untitled (Lexington), 2009

Wood, white paint, cardboard, yellow acrylic, and plastic strings, 21 × 12 × 9 ½ inches (53.3 × 30.5 × 24.1 cm)
© Cy Twombly Foundation. Photo: Rob McKeever

Cy Twombly, Camino Real II, 2010 Acrylic on plywood, 99 ⅜ × 72 ⅞ inches (252.4 × 185.1 cm)© Cy Twombly Foundation

Cy Twombly, Camino Real II, 2010

Acrylic on plywood, 99 ⅜ × 72 ⅞ inches (252.4 × 185.1 cm)
© Cy Twombly Foundation

About

To my mind, one does not put oneself in place of the past; one only adds a new link.
—Cy Twombly

Cy Twombly (1928–2011) developed a gestural vocabulary in which each line and color is infused with energy, spirituality, and meaning. Emerging as a prominent figure in the mid-1950s following extensive travels throughout Europe and North Africa, he produced works that are simultaneously personal and mythological, allowing narrative, language, and inner visions to erupt from his intimate, abstract notations.

Twombly was born in 1928 in Lexington, Virginia, and studied art in Boston and New York, then at Black Mountain College in North Carolina in the early 1950s. Although he was a contemporary of Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, his work soon digressed from the aims of American postwar abstraction. While prevailing tendencies of the period, such as Pop art, sought to abandon historical narratives altogether, Twombly directed his focus toward ancient, classical, and modern poetic traditions. In the late 1950s he moved to Italy, where he produced colorful, diagrammatic works, such as Ode to Psyche (1960), that feature erotic allusions and sly jokes while maintaining an abstract charge. Shortly thereafter the sebaceous, bright colors of these works gave way to the more austere grays and blues of the “blackboard” paintings, in which terse, white scrawls and loops recall the powdery effects of chalk on a blackboard. As Twombly continued to work in various locations over the following decades—including Rome, Lexington, and his final residence, in Gaeta, Italy—places, landscapes, and natural forms came to figure prominently in his drawings, collages, photographs, and watercolors.

For Twombly, the poetic and the rational were not mutually exclusive. Collage, which engaged him briefly in 1959, then began to appear more regularly in 1971, allies Twombly to the Dadaists and their descendants, such as Rauschenberg and Johns. Visual information from everyday life—travel postcards, reproductions of paintings, scientific illustrations, personal drawings, and more—entered his work as a way to explore the potential of both structure and meaning.

From his student days on, Twombly also captured his daily life in photographs. He recorded the verdant landscapes of Virginia and the coasts of Italy; close-up details of ancient buildings and sculptures; studio interiors; and still lifes of objects and flowers. Beginning in the early 1990s, he used specialized copiers to enlarge his Polaroid images on matte paper, resulting in subtle distortions that approximate the timeless qualities of his paintings and sculptures.

In 1995 the Cy Twombly Gallery opened across the street from the Menil Collection in Houston. A collaboration between the Menil, Dia Foundation, and Twombly himself, the gallery serves as a permanent home for a number of important works made between 1953 and 2004. Included is the series of paintings Analysis of the Rose as Sentimental Despair (1985), which features floral forms in deep reds, pinks, and purples, with quotations from Rainer Maria Rilke, Rumi, and Giacomo Leopardi. In 2010 Twombly was selected to install a permanent work at the Louvre: a painted ceiling for the Salle des Bronzes. The Ceiling spans 3,750 square feet and pays homage to the greatest Hellenic sculptors, from Phidias to Praxiteles, each of their names inscribed over an immense blue sky populated by floating, cosmic orbs.

Cy Twombly

Photo: Michael Stravato/The New York Times/Redux

Website

cytwombly.org

Image of Cy Twombly's Treatise on the Veil (Second Version), 1970

Cy Twombly: Imperfect Paradise

Eleonora Di Erasmo, cocurator of Un/veiled: Cy Twombly, Music, Inspirations, a program of concerts, video screenings, and works by Cy Twombly at the Fondazione Nicola Del Roscio, Rome, reflects on the resonances and networks of inspiration between the artist and music. The program was the result of an extensive three-year study, done at the behest of Nicola Del Roscio in the Rome and Gaeta offices of the Cy Twombly Foundation, intended to collect, document, and preserve compositions by musicians around the world who have been inspired by Twombly’s work, or to establish an artistic dialogue with them.

Black and white image of the interior of Cy Twombly’s apartment in Rome

Cy Twombly: Making Past Present

In 2020, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, announced their plan for a survey of Cy Twombly’s artwork alongside selections from their permanent ancient Greek and Roman collection. The survey was postponed due to the lockdowns necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic, but was revived in 2022 with a presentation at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles from August 2 through October 30. In 2023, the exhibition will arrive at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The curator for the exhibition, Christine Kondoleon, and Kate Nesin, author of Cy Twombly’s Things (2014) and advisor for the show, speak with Gagosian director Mark Francis about the origin of the exhibition and the aesthetic and poetic resonances that give the show its title: Making Past Present.

Cy Twombly, Untitled (Say Goodbye, Catallus, to the Shores of Asia Minor), 1994, oil, acrylic, oil stick, crayon, and graphite on three canvases,

Say Goodbye, Catullus, to the Shores of Asia Minor

Thierry Greub tracks the literary references in Cy Twomblys epic painting of 1994.

Carrie Mae Weems’s The Louvre (2006), on the cover of Gagosian Quarterly, Summer 2021

Now available
Gagosian Quarterly Summer 2021

The Summer 2021 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring Carrie Mae Weems’s The Louvre (2006) on its cover.

Cy Twombly, Untitled, 1990, acrylic, wax crayon, and pencil on handmade paper, 30 ⅝ × 21 ⅝ inches (77.8 × 54.8 cm)

Twombly and the Poets

Anne Boyer, the inaugural winner of the Cy Twombly Award in Poetry, composes a poem in response to TwomblyAristaeus Mourning the Loss of His Bees (1973) and introduces a portfolio of the painters works accompanied by the poems that inspired them.

Gerhard Richter’s Helen (1963) on the cover of Gagosian Quarterly, Spring 2021

Now available
Gagosian Quarterly Spring 2021

The Spring 2021 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring Gerhard Richter’s Helen (1963) on its cover.

Rainer Maria Rilke, 1928. Photo: Lou Andreas-Salomé

Rainer Maria Rilke: Duino Elegies

Bobbie Sheng explores the symbiotic relationship between the poet and visual artists of his time and tracks the enduring influence of his poetry on artists working today.

Featuring Joan Jonas’s Mirror Piece 1 (1969) on its cover.

Now available
Gagosian Quarterly Summer 2020

The Summer 2020 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring Joan Jonas’s Mirror Piece 1 (1969) on its cover.

River Café menu with illustration by Ed Ruscha.

The River Café Cookbook

London’s River Café, a culinary mecca perched on a bend in the River Thames, celebrated its thirtieth anniversary in 2018. To celebrate this milestone and the publication of her cookbook River Café London, cofounder Ruth Rogers sat down with Derek Blasberg to discuss the famed restaurant’s allure.

Left: Sally Mann, Self-Portrait, 1974; right: Jenny Saville in her studio, c. 1990s.

In Conversation
Sally Mann and Jenny Saville

The two artists discuss being drawn to difficult subjects, the effects of motherhood on their practice, embracing chance, and their shared adoration of Cy Twombly.

The cover of the Fall 2019 Gagosian Quarterly magazine. Artwork by Nathaniel Mary Quinn

Now available
Gagosian Quarterly Fall 2019

The Fall 2019 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring a detail from Sinking (2019) by Nathaniel Mary Quinn on its cover.

Glenstone Museum.

Intimate Grandeur: Glenstone Museum

Paul Goldberger tracks the evolution of Mitchell and Emily Rales’s Glenstone Museum in Potomac, Maryland. Set amid 230 acres of pristine landscape and housing a world-class collection of modern and contemporary art, this graceful complex of pavilions, designed by architects Thomas Phifer and Partners, opened to the public in the fall of 2018.

Fairs, Events & Announcements

Installation view, The Sea, the Sky, a Window: A Project by Sarah Crowner, Hill Art Foundation, New York, September 22, 2023–February 17, 2024. Artwork, front to back © Cy Twombly Foundation, © Sarah Crowner. Photo: Matthew Herrmann, courtesy Hill Art Foundation

In Conversation

Katherine Brinson, Sarah Crowner, Kate Nesin

Wednesday, February 7, 2024, 6pm
Hill Art Foundation, New York
hillartfoundation.org

Join curator Katherine Brinson, artist Sarah Crowner, and art historian Kate Nesin for a conversation on the occasion of The Sea, the Sky, a Window: A Project by Sarah Crowner, on view through February 17 at the Hill Art Foundation, New York. The exhibition places site-specific works by Crowner in dialogue with sculptures and paintings from the Hill Collection; the centerpiece is three paintings the artist has made in response to sculptures by Cy Twombly. The talk will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

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Installation view, The Sea, the Sky, a Window: A Project by Sarah Crowner, Hill Art Foundation, New York, September 22, 2023–February 17, 2024. Artwork, front to back © Cy Twombly Foundation, © Sarah Crowner. Photo: Matthew Herrmann, courtesy Hill Art Foundation

Cy Twombly and the American Critics, 1951–1995: A Reception History (New York: Gagosian; Rome: Fondazione Nicola Del Roscio, 2023)

Book Launch and Talk

Thierry Greub and Richard Leeman
On Cy Twombly

Saturday, July 1, 2023, 6pm
Fondazione Nicola Del Roscio, Rome
fondazionenicoladelroscio.it

Join Fondazione Nicola Del Roscio to celebrate two recently published titles on Cy Twombly—Cy Twombly: Inscriptions by Thierry Greub and Cy Twombly and the American Critics, 1951–1995: A Reception History by Richard Leeman. Greub will speak with Klaus-Peter Busse about his monumental six-volume catalogue that traces the artist’s long engagement with literary sources from 1953 until his death in 2011. In conversation with Éric de Chassey, Leeman will discuss his book, which analyzes the reception of Twombly’s works in the United States from the artist’s first exhibition in 1951 through to his retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1994–95. The event, which is free to attend, will be introduced by curator Peter Benson Miller.

Cy Twombly and the American Critics, 1951–1995: A Reception History (New York: Gagosian; Rome: Fondazione Nicola Del Roscio, 2023)

Gagosian’s booth at Art Basel 2023. Artwork, left to right: © John Currin; © Rudolf Stingel; © 2023 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; © 2023 The Willem de Kooning Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; © Jonas Wood; © Anna Weyant; © Jenny Saville; © Cy Twombly Foundation. Photo: Sebastiano Pellion di Persano

Art Fair

Art Basel 2023

June 13–18, 2022, Hall 2, booth B15
Messe Basel
artbasel.com

Gagosian is pleased to participate in Art Basel 2023 with modern and contemporary works by gallery artists, as well as special entries in the Unlimited and Parcours sections of the fair.

Gagosian’s presentation in the main section of Art Basel represents the breadth and diversity of the gallery’s programming through work by artists including John Currin, Andreas Gursky, Simon Hantaï, Tetsuya Ishida, Jia Aili, Jamian Juliano-Villani, Ewa Juszkiewicz, Rick Lowe, Nathaniel Mary Quinn, Sarah Sze, Mary Weatherford, Anna Weyant, Rachel Whiteread, Stanley Whitney, and Jordan Wolfson, among others. Also featured are iconic works by Willem de Kooning, Gerhard Richter, Cy Twombly, and Andy Warhol.

Gagosian’s booth at Art Basel 2023. Artwork, left to right: © John Currin; © Rudolf Stingel; © 2023 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; © 2023 The Willem de Kooning Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; © Jonas Wood; © Anna Weyant; © Jenny Saville; © Cy Twombly Foundation. Photo: Sebastiano Pellion di Persano

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Museum Exhibitions

Richard Prince, Untitled (Picasso), 2011, Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso, Madrid © Richard Prince. Photo: Pablo Asenjo

On View

El eco de Picasso

Through March 31, 2024
Museo Picasso Málaga, Spain
museopicassomalaga.org

Organized as part of Picasso Celebration 1973–2023, a series of international exhibitions and events commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of Pablo Picasso’s death, The Echo of Picasso focuses on his influence on twentieth-century art. The exhibition places Picasso’s practice in dialogue with work by more than fifty artists, including Francis Bacon, Georg Baselitz, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Willem de Kooning, Thomas Houseago, Ewa Juszkiewicz, Richard Prince, Nathaniel Mary Quinn, Cy Twombly, Tom Wesselmann, and Franz West.

Richard Prince, Untitled (Picasso), 2011, Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso, Madrid © Richard Prince. Photo: Pablo Asenjo

Franz West, Paravents, 2010, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main, Germany © Archiv Franz West, © Estate Franz West. Photo: Wolfgang Günzel

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Paraventi
Folding Screens from the 17th to 21st Centuries

October 26, 2023–February 22, 2024
Fondazione Prada, Milan
www.fondazioneprada.org

This exhibition investigates the histories and semantics of folding screens by tracing trajectories of cross-pollination between the East and the West, processes of hybridization between different art forms and functions, collaborations between designers and artists, and the emergence of new works. Paraventi presents more than seventy folding screens as well as a selection of contemporary projects, commissioned specifically for this show, by more than fifteen international artists. Work by Francis Bacon, Man Ray, Pablo PicassoJean Prouvé, Ed RuschaCy Twombly, and Franz West is included.

Franz West, Paravents, 2010, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main, Germany © Archiv Franz West, © Estate Franz West. Photo: Wolfgang Günzel

Installation view, The Sea, the Sky, a Window: A Project by Sarah Crowner, Hill Art Foundation, New York, September 22, 2023–February 17, 2024. Artwork, front to back © Cy Twombly Foundation, © Sarah Crowner, © Beatrice Caracciolo. Photo: Matthew Herrmann, courtesy Hill Art Foundation

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Cy Twombly in
The Sea, the Sky, a Window: A Project by Sarah Crowner

September 22, 2023–February 17, 2024
Hill Art Foundation, New York
hillartfoundation.org

The Sea, the Sky, a Window places site-specific works by Sarah Crowner in dialogue with sculptures and paintings from the Hill Collection, including work by Cy Twombly. Three new paintings Crowner created in direct response to sculptures by Twombly are the centerpiece of the exhibition. Juxtaposing observer and subject, and foreground and background, the pairings address one another across mediums and time.

Installation view, The Sea, the Sky, a Window: A Project by Sarah Crowner, Hill Art Foundation, New York, September 22, 2023–February 17, 2024. Artwork, front to back © Cy Twombly Foundation, © Sarah Crowner, © Beatrice Caracciolo. Photo: Matthew Herrmann, courtesy Hill Art Foundation

Cy Twombly, Untitled (Roses), 2008, Museum Brandhorst, Munich © Cy Twombly Foundation. Photo: Nicole Williams

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La vie en rose
Brueghel, Monet, Twombly

May 5–October 22, 2023
Museum Brandhorst, Munich
www.museum-brandhorst.de

La vie en rose is centered around Cy Twombly’s Untitled (Roses), a series of six paintings created for a room in Museum Brandhorst, and on permanent display in Munich since 2009. Taking Twombly’s poetic examination of death, freedom, isolation, and eroticism as its starting point, the exhibition brings together works by various artists who have engaged with floral subjects, including Claude Monet’s Water Lilies (1915) and Andy Warhol’s Flowers (1965). The show aims to reveal the complex, even contradictory motives that have inspired artists over the centuries to take on this subject matter.

Cy Twombly, Untitled (Roses), 2008, Museum Brandhorst, Munich © Cy Twombly Foundation. Photo: Nicole Williams

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Press

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