Cy Twombly

American, 1928–2011

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Cy Twombly

American, 1928–2011

12,574
Followers
Biography

Cy Twombly emerged in the 1950s, developing a characteristic painting style of expressive drips and active, scribbled, and scratched lines. “My line is childlike but not childish,” he once said. “It is very difficult to fake…to get that quality you need to project yourself into the child's line. It has to be felt.” Early influences included Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Jackson Pollock, and Robert Motherwell, but more formative would be his relationships with Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, along with whom he would distance himself from the dominance of Abstract Expressionism. Twombly's work also appeared in one of the first exhibitions to explore ideas of Minimalism—“Black, White, and Grey” (1964)—along with Agnes Martin, Frank Stella, and Andy Warhol. In addition to his paintings, which were sometimes dismissed as "high-art graffiti," he produced sculptures assembled from found objects, clay, and plaster, painted white to suggest an affinity to Classicism.

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
Auction
High auction record
$71m, Sotheby's, 2015
User
Solo show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 7 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 13 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 4 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition, and 2 more
Biography

Cy Twombly emerged in the 1950s, developing a characteristic painting style of expressive drips and active, scribbled, and scratched lines. “My line is childlike but not childish,” he once said. “It is very difficult to fake…to get that quality you need to project yourself into the child's line. It has to be felt.” Early influences included Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Jackson Pollock, and Robert Motherwell, but more formative would be his relationships with Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, along with whom he would distance himself from the dominance of Abstract Expressionism. Twombly's work also appeared in one of the first exhibitions to explore ideas of Minimalism—“Black, White, and Grey” (1964)—along with Agnes Martin, Frank Stella, and Andy Warhol. In addition to his paintings, which were sometimes dismissed as "high-art graffiti," he produced sculptures assembled from found objects, clay, and plaster, painted white to suggest an affinity to Classicism.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
Auction
High auction record
$71m, Sotheby's, 2015
User
Solo show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 7 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 13 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 4 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition, and 2 more
Shows Featuring Cy Twombly
Articles Featuring Cy Twombly
What Sold at Frieze London
Oct 7th, 2019
Peek inside the Intricate Worlds of Art History’s Most Spectacular Dollhouses
Oct 9th, 2018
Why Can’t the Art World Embrace Robert Rauschenberg’s Queer Community?
May 19th, 2017
How to Look at Cy Twombly after Zombie Formalism
Dec 2nd, 2016
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