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Cy Twombly

Cy Twombly

(1929 - 2011)
Born: Lexington, Virginia
Style: Post-Painterly Abstraction
Famous Works:
  • Leda and the Swan (1962)
  • III Notes from Salalah (Note II) (1968)
  • Suma (1982)
Cy Twombly's art is marked by its complex mass of marks, words, and scribbles on vast surfaces of paper and canvas. Many works consist of large pencil drawings unrestrained by order or arrangement. The lack of traditional design enables viewers to develop their own shapes within Twombly's drawings, and entice a thorough viewing. Twombly was trained at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Art Students League, New York. His exposure to Franz Kline and Robert Motherwell inspired spontaneity in his work. At twenty-nine years old, Twombly settled in Rome, where he was able to surround himself with the art of the ancient Romans, as well as Renaissance masters. Greek and Roman myths often figure in his work, comprising part of his vocabulary of text, images, and gestures, and often acting as titles. Connections have been made between Jackson Pollock's abstractions and those of Twombly. Twombly's work differs, however, in it apparent disregard to composition or graphic quality. The child-like drawings float in and out of the viewer's conscience, as well as the surface of the painting. Despite the seemingly arbitrary patterns, Twombly used his drawings to overcome the customary notion of shape and form, drawing on the elements of unconscious thought. His work has received great acclaim in the last decade of the twentieth century.
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