Cy Twombly

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February 24, 2018

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Artist Spotlight: Cy Twombly

February 14, 2018

Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA)

When Cy Twombly’s work first emerged in the early 1950s many critics scoffed at the deeply expressive gestures, scribbles, drips, and scratches that have come to firmly secure his place as one of the most innovative artists of the 20th century. “My line is childlike but not childish,” the artist once offered in response to criticism pegging his work as simplistic and lacking in clear technique. “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.”  The emotional caliber of Twombly’s elegantly orchestrated compositions is palpable. Chock-full of fluid starts and stops, erasures, and replacements, which all lend a manuscript-like quality to his canvases. And while the same highly animated, lyrical scribbles and gestural scratches might be evocative of graffiti, Twombly himself shied away from such identification. “Graffiti is linear and it’s done with a pencil, and it’s like writing on walls. But in my paintings it’s more lyrical,”  he explained.

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