Cy Twombly’s massive graffiti-esque paintings are difficult to define or categorize. They’re part calligraphy, part abstraction, and completely stunning. Next month Gagosian opens an exhibition of the last paintings Twombly made before his death in 2011, along with around one hundred photographs, a less well-known side of the artist’s work. Here are a few things to known about Twombly before seeing the show:
- He served as a cryptographer in the army, which influenced his style of painting.
- He was inspired by classical myths and allegories such as “Leda and the Swan.”
- He broke away from Abstract Expressionism along with Robert Rauschenburg and Jasper Johns.
- His Blackboard Paintings from the late 1960s are known for looking like he’s scribbled on a chalkboard.
- Eight of his drawings consist of the word “VIRGIL.”
- In 2007 an artist kissed one of his paintings, leaving a lipstick print. She was fined and the painting was kept on display.
WHERE TO SEE
Cy Twombly’s The Last Paintings is on view at Gagosian (Madison Ave) November 1 through December 22.