The Essential Cy Twombly

ARTBOOK | D.A.P.
Oct 17, 2014 2:47PM
"I have always thought 'Twombly' ought to be (if it isn't already) a verb, as intwombly: (vt.): to hover thoughtfully over a surface, tracing glyphs and graphs of mischievous suggestiveness, periodically touching down amidst discharges of passionate intensity. Or, then again, perhaps a noun, as in twombly (n.): A line with a mind of its own." Simon Schama's introduction to The Essential Cy Twombly, our definitive overview of the late, great artist's complete oeuvre set the stage for one of the most outstanding new books of the year. "Don't be deceived by the courtly gracefulness of the Virginian translated to Italy; the lightly worn erudition; the genteel touch of his botanizing. The truth is that Twombly, at various times in his long, prolific and protean career, has often been something of a scrapper, not in the sense in which his persona has ever exuded the kind of tear-away grab-baggy ebullience of his old comrade, Rauschenberg, much less the hard-ass daemon-father, Pollock. Rather, Twombly has always enjoyed tearing a strip off the tendency of abstract painting towards its own monumentalism (enshrined for instance in the temple-like vacancies of color-field stains). His was the trash-rooting, bricolage-rummaging, cut-and-paste, slash and smear moment; a dumpster-full of wiry, rusty ganglia; a wall, raucous with hoodlum graffiti. Twombly's resistance to 'finish'; even to the all-over, fused, and thickly melded texture of Pollock's abstractions; his courage in performing looser, more disarrayed traces, is especially apparent in the works on paper, where the dog-eared, the torn-away, the dimpled, crumpled, chewed-up, and grubby are all enthusiastically welcomed into the creative process." Nicola's Irises (1990) is reproduced from The Essential Cy Twombly, published by D.A.P.
ARTBOOK | D.A.P.
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