Cy Twombly, ‘Untitled’, Christie's

Cy Twombly (1928-2011)


oil-based house paint, lead pencil and wax crayon on canvas

19 3/4 x 23 3/4 in. (50.2 x 60.3 cm.)

Executed in 1961.

Signature: Untitled

Rome, Galleria dell'Oca, Divergenze e corrispondenze, March 1987.

H. Bastian, Cy Twombly: Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings, 1961-1965, vol. II, Munich, 1995, p. 113, no. 57 (illustrated in color).

Galleria Notizie, Turin

Galleria dell'Oca, Rome

Private collection, Rome

Anon. sale; Christie’s, London, 8 December 1999, lot 82

Private collection, Europe

Anon. sale; Christie's, London, 13 February 2014, lot 12

Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

About Cy Twombly

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.

American, 1928-2011, Lexington, Virginia, based in New York and Rome