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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

Fairs, Events & Announcements

Cy Twombly: Fifty Days at Iliam (Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art; New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2018)

In Conversation

Carlos Basualdo
David R. Baum

Tuesday, May 7, 2019, 6:30pm
New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, New York
www.nypl.org

To mark the recent publication of Cy Twombly: Fifty Days at Iliam, Carlos Basualdo, senior curator at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and editor of the book, will speak with David R. Baum, the Secretary and Outside General Counsel of the Cy Twombly Foundation. The publication is an in-depth look at Cy Twombly’s masterpiece Fifty Days at Iliam (1978), a series of ten paintings based on Alexander Pope’s eighteenth-century translation of Homer’s Iliad. To attend the free event, register at www.nypl.org.

Cy Twombly: Fifty Days at Iliam (Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art; New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2018)

Cy Twombly, Leaving Paphos Ringed With Waves (IV), 2009© Cy Twombly Foundation

Screening

Cy Twombly
Cy Dear

Wednesday, March 20, 2019, 3pm
Centre Canadien d’Architecture, Montréal
www.artfifa.com

Cy Dear (2018), a film that traces the life and work of Cy Twombly, will be screened as part of the thirty-seventh edition of the Festival International du film sur l’art (FIFA) in Montreal. To celebrate what would have been his ninetieth birthday, this documentary pays homage to Twombly’s prolific career, looking closely at his work around the world and the different creative periods within his oeuvre. To attend the event, purchase tickets at www.artfifa.com.

Cy Twombly, Leaving Paphos Ringed With Waves (IV), 2009
© Cy Twombly Foundation

Georg Baselitz, 5 mal endwärts, 2018 © Georg Baselitz 2019

Art Fair

Taipei Dangdai

January 18–20, 2019, booth D13
Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center
taipeidangdai.com

Gagosian is pleased to participate in the inaugural edition of Taipei Dangdai, Taiwan’s first international art fair. Marking the gallery’s first presentation in Taiwan, the booth will include artworks by Georg Baselitz, Joe Bradley, John Currin, Edmund de Waal, Urs Fischer, Helen Frankenthaler, Katharina Grosse, Damien Hirst, Thomas Houseago, Takashi Murakami & Virgil Abloh, Nam June Paik, Sterling Ruby, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, Tom Wesselmann, and others.

To receive a PDF with detailed information on the works, please contact the gallery at inquire@gagosian.com. To attend the fair, purchase tickets at taipeidangdai.com. To preview our booth, go to artsy.net.

Download the full press release in English, Simplified Chinese, or Traditional Chinese

Georg Baselitz, 5 mal endwärts, 2018 © Georg Baselitz 2019

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Museum Exhibitions

Cy Twombly, The Song of the Border Guard, 1952 © Cy Twombly Foundation

On View

How Far Can Creativity Take You
VMFA Fellowship Artists

Through November 17, 2019
VMFA on the Road: An Artmobile for the 21st Century, various locations throughout Virginia
www.vmfa.museum

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts’s new state-of-the-art traveling museum and art studio offers an opportunity for residents of the Commonwealth to see and experience works of art from the collection up close. The inaugural exhibition, How Far Can Creativity Take You, celebrates the role this institution has played in the lives of fellowship recipients. Work by Sally Mann and Cy Twombly is included.

Cy Twombly, The Song of the Border Guard, 1952 © Cy Twombly Foundation

Helen Frankenthaler, Western Dream, 1957, collection of Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, New York © 2018 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

On View

Epic Abstraction
Pollock to Herrera

Opened December 17, 2018
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
www.metmuseum.org

Epic Abstraction: Pollock to Herrera explores large-scale abstract painting, sculpture, and assemblage, from the 1940s to the twenty-first century, through works from the Met collection and special loans. Many of the artists in the exhibition worked in large formats not only to explore aesthetic elements of line, color, shape, and texture, but also to activate scale’s metaphoric potential to evoke expansive—“epic”—ideas and subjects, including time, history, nature, and existential concerns of the self. Work by Helen Frankenthaler and Cy Twombly is included.

Helen Frankenthaler, Western Dream, 1957, collection of Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, New York © 2018 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Cy Twombly, Untitled, 2002 © Nicola Del Roscio Foundation

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Cy Twombly
Photographs

August 26–November 4, 2018
Château La Coste, Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade, France
chateau-la-coste.com

Cy Twombly: Photographs is comprised of thirty photographs, taken between 1985 and 2008, variously depicting intimate spaces, landscapes, and natural subjects. This exhibition has traveled from the Sursock Museum in Beirut.

Cy Twombly, Untitled, 2002 © Nicola Del Roscio Foundation

Cy Twombly, Venus, 1975 © Cy Twombly Foundation

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Divine Dialogues
Cy Twombly and Greek Antiquity

May 25–September 3, 2017
Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens
www.cycladic.gr

Works by Cy Twombly, inspired by Greece and Greek mythology, come together with ancient artworks in this exhibition, curated by Professor Nikolaos Stampolidis, director of the Museum of Cycladic Art, and Jonas Storsve, curator at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and of the recent major Cy Twombly retrospective exhibition.

Cy Twombly, Venus, 1975 © Cy Twombly Foundation

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Press

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