Thursday, February 2, 2012

Cy Twombly

Edwin Parker , Cy Twombly Jr. (April 25, 1928 – July 5, 2011) was an American artist well known for his large-scale, freely scribbled, calligraphic-style graffiti paintings, on solid fields of mostly gray, tan, or off-white colors. He exhibited his paintings worldwide.

Twombly used the nickname "Cy", after his father (also nicknamed Cy, who was briefly a pitcher in Major League Baseball) and the star baseball pitcher Cy Young. Twombly's paintings blur the line between drawing and painting. Many of his best-known paintings of the late 1960s are reminiscent of a school blackboard on which someone has practiced cursive "e"s. Twombly had at this point discarded painting figurative, representational subject-matter, citing the line or smudge – each mark with its own history as its proper subject.

Tate's Director Nicholas Serota gives us a behind the scenes tour of the Cy Twombly exhibition (2008) as he makes the final adjustments to the hang just before opening. A long-standing fan, Serota talks about Twombly's technique, his relationship to Turner, and how the artist, in his eighties, was still producing at the time.