The American artist Cy Twombly (1928-2011) was one of the seminal artists of the second half of the twentieth century, with a complex oeuvre extending over six decades.
His work brilliantly fused the legacy of American Abstract Expressionism with the intellectual rigor of classical European and Mediterranean culture, reflecting his extensive reading in history, classical literature, and mythology.
This catalogue, edited by curator Jonas Storsve, accompanies a sweeping retrospective at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, one of the largest exhibitions on his work to date.
Twombly s artistic development is traced through more than 200 paintings, sculptures, drawings, and photographs which span his entire career, including three major history painting cycles - Nine Discourses on Commodus (1963), Fifty Days at Iliam (1978), and Coronation of Sesostris (2000).
From his early works at the beginning of the 1950s which were characterized by the interweaving of text with his signature scrawled lines, to his final, vibrantly colored, paintings, this survey underscores Twombly's career as a series of cycles in which he invented painting anew. Polyphonic in conception, Cy Twombly presents a range of views with essays that shed light on the various aspects and phases of his body of work.
It includes reflections by contemporary artists (Sally Mann, Edmund de Waal, and Katharina Grosse, among others) as well as recollections by his former assistant, archivist, companion and the president of the Cy Twombly Foundation, Nicola Del Roscio.
Together these multiple voices bring Cy Twombly to life, illuminating his creative process and the humanity that underlies his work.