More about Cy Twombly


Seeing as how he served as a cryptologist for the U.S. Army, it’s no wonder Cy Twombly’s paintings are so tough to crack!

Some of his splattery marks and scrawled bits of indecipherable text look similar to the likes of Jackson Pollock.  But it was actually Twombly, alongside artists like Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, who set art free from the totally exclusive and esoteric art of macho dudes like Pollock.

People criticized Twombly’s work for a while – really intelligent and well-articulated stuff like: “My kid could draw better than that.” But later on, folks seemed to think otherwise. Twombly’s work sold for $69.6 million at an auction in 2014!! Doubt your kid could make that kinda dough from scribbling lines on a blackboard.

Twombly’s dad was a pitcher for the Chicago White Sox, and he and his pop were both christened after the legendary baseball player Cy Young. Twombly met Rauschenberg when he was in art school in New York. Though Rauschenberg’s personal life is best known by his relationship with Jasper Johns, he also got romantical with Cy.  Together they travelled the world, as evidenced by Rauschenberg’s vacation photos, Cy + Roman Steps, I-V. People often leave this tidbit out, maybe because Twombly later married and had children. But Sartle knows better than to pigeonhole a person…or to gloss over a scandalous story.

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Cy Twombly

Edwin Parker "Cy" Twombly Jr. (/s ˈtwɒmbli/; April 25, 1928 – July 5, 2011) was an American painter, sculptor and photographer.

Twombly influenced artists such as Anselm Kiefer, Francesco Clemente, Julian Schnabel and Jean-Michel Basquiat. His best-known works are typically large-scale, freely-scribbled, calligraphic and graffiti-like works on solid fields of mostly gray, tan, or off-white colors. His later paintings and works on paper shifted toward "romantic symbolism", and their titles can be interpreted visually through shapes and forms and words. Twombly often quoted poets such as Stéphane Mallarmé, Rainer Maria Rilke and John Keats, as well as classical myths and allegories, in his works. Examples of this are his Apollo and The Artist and a series of eight drawings consisting solely of inscriptions of the word "VIRGIL".

Twombly's works are in the permanent collections of modern art museums globally, including the Menil Collection in Houston, the Tate Modern in London, New York's Museum of Modern Art and Munich's Museum Brandhorst. He was commissioned for a ceiling at the Musée du Louvre in Paris.

In a 1994 retrospective, curator Kirk Varnedoe described Twombly's work as "influential among artists, discomfiting to many critics and truculently difficult not just for a broad public, but for sophisticated initiates of postwar art as well."

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Cy Twombly