Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Cy Twombly: Late Paintings: 2003-2011

It will astonish you that this comprehensive volume of Twombly's later works began when he was already 75 years of age, yet this iconic author produced a body of work so large in scale, dynamic in gesture, and vivid in fervent saturated color. It is very interesting to see the change from some of his earlier works which I have included.

Twombly's career really began in New York City in the early 50's when he worked alongside other great artists, Robert Motherwell, Robert Rauschenberg, Franz Kline, John Cage, Jasper Johns and others. It was also the time of the Jackson Pollock and de Kooning's art explosion.

Ferragosto I, 1961. Oil, crayon and pencil on canvas, 166 X 200 cm (65⅜ x 78¾ in.).

                                ©Cy Twombly Foundation
A very private man, Twombly avoided publicity and let his work speak for itself. Well traveled , well read, he had homes in Lexington Virginia and Gaeta, Italy, both with spacious studios.

Untitled (Winter Pictures), Panel 4, 2004. Polyptych in 10 parts. Masonry paint on wooden panel, 282 x 185 cm (111 x 72⅞ in.).

                                ©Cy Twombly Foundation

Untitled (Bacchus, Psilax, Mainomenos), 2005. Panel 7. Acrylic on canvas, 317.5 X 468.6 cm (125 X 184½ in.). 

                                ©Cy Twombly Foundation

Twombly works  or art are filled with his favored motifs of ancient symbolism, ships, flowers, poetry, and mythological references. Even at this last stage of his life, painting was so fundamental, so essential to Twombly that he produced art of such scale and intensity, that to see it in person is breathtaking. Most of these works have been shown extensively at The Gagosian Gallery in New York City.

Bay of Naples, 1961. Oil, industrial paint, crayon and pencil on canvas, 241.8 x 298.6 cm (94⅛ x 116¾ in.).

                                ©Cy Twombly Foundation

Untitled (Blooming: A Scattering of Blossoms and Other Things), 2007. Acrylic and crayon on wooden panel, 252 X 552 cm (99¼ X 217¼ in.).

                                ©Cy Twombly Foundation

The Rose (IV), 2008. Acrylic on wooden panel, 252 x 740 cm (99½ x 291¼ in.).

                                 ©Cy Twombly Foundation, photo courtesy of the Gagosian Gallery.

Consider purchasing this book for your library; it is full of the monumental and stunning works of art created in Twombly's  later years. 

My thanks to Thames and Hudson for the review copy of Cy Twombly: Late Paintings 2003-2011.

The author Nela Pavlouskova studied art aesthetics at The University of Paris, Sorbonne, where she wrote her PhD thesis on the works of Cy Twombly. 

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