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Cy Twombly, Bomarzo 1963. Photo: Tatiana Franchetti-Twombly
Cy Twombly, Bomarzo 1963. Photo: Tatiana Franchetti-Twombly

Cy Twombly (1928 - 2011) was one of the foremost representatives of the international avant-garde since the rise of Abstract Expressionism in New York.
In 1951, he began his training at the Art Students' League in New York, where he came into contact with Robert Rauschenberg, who accompanied him during his studies at Black Mountain College, North Carolina. In 1952 and 1953 he travelled to North Africa and Europe for the first time, spending time in Italy, where he would eventually emigrate. Here Cy Twombly broadened his artistic horizons and laid the foundation for his distinctive artistic language, which he then developed into an unmistakable style. His journeys to the major Italian art centres with their overwhelming cultural past spurred him to an intense exploration of mythological and historical subjects that he treated in his subtle idiomatic approach, combining several techniques.

In his large-format works on canvas as well as his works on paper, Twombly typically made use of a variety of media: pencil, oil crayons, oil, and wall paint form an aesthetic and often tactile bond with the paper support. Especially in his works on paper, the frequently described graphical character of his work has a particularly spontaneous, calligraphic and yet incredibly concentrated effect. Circles, loops and scribbles executed in patient repetition of a gesture placed next to impasto traces of paint and scraped streaks in delicate hues suddenly reveal letters and words, but without divulging their meaning. Sign and signifier are not clearly assigned in Twombly’s work. Only an in-depth examination of his oeuvre reveals an as-yet undeciphered system of signs or repertoire that repeatedly evokes Mediterranean culture, myths, literature, and history through spontaneous gestures and minimalistic notations. Twombly approaches his subjects with great respect, seeking them out and encircling them, and his ability to link poetry and painting perhaps surpasses that of any other visual artist. Cy Twombly died 2011 in Rome.

Publications

Exhibitions

Solo exhibitions
2019
Cy Twombly - Natural History

Bastian Gallery, London, UK

2018
Cy Twombly: Photographs

Château La Coste, Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade, France

2018
Cy Twombly: Photographs

Sursock Museum, Beirut, Liban

2017
Cy Twombly's Iliad

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA, USA

2017
Divine Dialogues: Cy Twombly and Greek Antiquity

Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens, Greece

2016
Cy Twombly. In the Studio

Museum Brandhorst, Munich, Germany

2016
Cy Twombly. L’histoire de l’art

Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France

2016
Cy Twombly. Malerei auf Papier

Galerie Karsten Greve, Cologne, Germany

2015
Cy Twombly. Painting and Sculpture

Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel, Switzerland

2015
Cy Twombly: Fifty Years of Works on Paper

Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan & Hara Museum ARC, Gunma-ken, Japan

2015
Cy Twombly. Paradise

Ca’Pesaro - Galleria Internazionale d’Arte Moderna, Venice, Italy

2015
Cy Twombly. Photographs

American Academy in Rome, Rome, Italy

2014
Cy Twombly. Treatise on the Veil

The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, NY, USA

2014
Cy Twombly: Paradise

Museo Jumex, Mexico City, Mexico

2014
Cy Twombly. Fotografie di Gaeta

Museo Diocesano di Gaeta, Gaeta, Italy

2013
Hommage à Cy Twombly

Galerie Bastian, Berlin, Germany

2013-13
Cy Twombly – On Paper

Galerie Karsten Greve, Paris, France

2013
Cy Twombly: Sculptures

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA, USA

2012
In Living Color

FLAG Art Foundation, New York, NY, USA

2012
Cy Twombly: The Last Paintings

Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA, USA, Hong Kong, China, London, UK, New York (Madison Avenue), USA

2012
Cy Twombly - The Last Paintings / A Survey of Photographs 1954 - 2011

Gagosian Gallery, London, UK, New York, NY, USA

2012
Cy Twombly: Photographs 1951 - 2010

BOZAR / Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Belgium

2011
A private collection: Works on Paper

Galerie Karsten Greve AG, St. Moritz, Switzerland

2011
Cy Twombly – Photographien 1951 - 2010

Museum Brandhorst, Munich, Germany; travelled to: Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Siegen, Germany; BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels, Belgium

2011
Cy Twombly: Sculpture

MoMA - The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, USA

2011
Cy Twombly Prints

Craig F. Starr Gallery, New York, NY, USA

2011
Cy Twombly Tribute: A Scattering of Blossoms & Other Things

Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA, USA

2011
Cy Twombly: Le temps retrouvé

Collection Lambert, Avignon, France; Sara Hildén Art Museum, Tampere, Finland

2010
Cy Twombly. The Ceiling, 2007 - 09, un plafond peint pour la salle des bronzes

Musée du Louvre, Paris, France (permanent installation since March 23, 2010)

Group exhibitions
2020
Mushrooms: The Art, Design and Future of Fungi

Somerset House, London, UK

2020
Blanc sur Blanc

Gagosian Gallery, Paris, France

2019
Goethe: Transformation of the World

Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn, Germany

2019
Homère

Musée du Louvre-Lens, Lens, France

2019
Francesco Vezzoli. Le Lacrime dei poeti

Collection Lambert, Avignon, France

2019
Troy: Myth and Reality

The British Museum, London, UK

2019-20
Time for Fragments. Works from the Marx Collection and the Collection of the Nationalgalerie

Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, Germany

2019
Writings on the Wall

Waddington Custot, London, UK

2019
Forever Young

Brandhorst Museum, Munich, Germany

2019
Alvaro Barrington: Artists I Steal From

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, London, UK

2019
Painting into Sculpture - Embodiment in Form

Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art, Sakura City, Japan

2019
Words

Alexander Berggruen, New York, NY, USA

2018
WOW! The Heidi Horten Collection

Leopold Museum, Vienna, Austria

2018
Epic Abstraction: Pollock to Herrera

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, USA

2018
Journeys with “The Waste Land”

Margate, Kent, UK

2018
Phénomènes

Sélestat, Fonds régional d'art contemporain (Frac) Alsace, France

2018
Sculptures of Existence: Giacometti, Twombly

Venus Over Manhattan, New York, NY, USA

2018
Masterpieces of the National Museum of Art, Osaka. Clues for Art Appreciation

Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefectural Museum of Art, Japan; traveled to: Toyoashi City Museum of Art & History, Toyoashi, Japan

2017
Herbst Accrochage

Galerie Karsten Greve AG, St. Moritz, Switzerland

2017
Summer Show

Galerie Karsten Greve AG, St. Moritz, Switzerland

2017
Von Christo bis Kiefer. Die Collection Lambert, Avignon

Picasso Museum, Münster, Germany

2017
Spring Show

Galerie Karsten Greve AG, St. Moritz, Switzerland

2017
Winter Accrochage

Galerie Karsten Greve AG, St. Moritz, Switzerland

2017
DIVINE DIALOGUES. Cy Twombly und die griechische Antike

Museum für kykladische Kunst (MCA) Athens, Greece

2016
Summer Show

Galerie Karsten Greve AG, St. Moritz, Switzerland

2016
Modernist Intersections: The TIA Collection

The University of Arizona Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ, USA

2016
Burri tra Europa e USA: lo Spazio di Materia

Fondazione Palazzo Albizzini Collezione Burri, Perugia, Italy

2015
Accrochage

Galerie Karsten Greve AG, St. Moritz, Switzerland

2013
IN PRINCIPIO

Kunsthalle Rostock, Rostock, Germany

2013
Now Here is also Nowhere: Part II

Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA, USA

2012
Circus Wols

Weserburg – Museum für moderne Kunst, Bremen, Germany

2012
Turner Monet Twombly – Later Paintings

Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany

2012
Micro Mania

Gagosian Gallery, Paris, France

2012
Sculpture

Gagosian Gallery, Hong Kong, China

2011
Twombly and Poussin: Arcadian Painters

Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, UK

2011
LE TEMPS RETROUVÉ: Cy Twombly photographer, friends and others

Collection Lambert, Avignon, France

2011
Made in Italy

Gagosian Gallery, Rome, Italy

2011
L’Invention de l’œuvre, Rodin et les ambassadeurs

Musée Auguste Rodin, Paris, France

2011
L'Idée de Nature

La Kunsthalle Mulhouse, Mulhouse, France

2011
Zettels Traum

Von der Heydt Museum, Wuppertal, Germany

2011
Compass - Drawings from The Museum of Modern Art New York

Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, Germany

2011
Neue Farben. Eine Auswahl aus der Sammlung Kemp

Stiftung Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf, Germany

2010
Besuch bei Verwandten. Thomas Bechinger, Judith Samen, Michel Sauer treffen auf Morandi, Freud, Twombly und Polke in der Sammlung Lambrecht-Schadeberg

Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Siegen, Germany

2010
Je mehr ich zeichne. Zeichnung als Weltentwurf

Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Siegen, Germany

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