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Cy Twombly

Lexington 1928 - Rom 2011.0705


Cy Twombly was born in Lexington, Virginia on April 25, 1928. As of 1947 Twombly studies at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, followed by the Washington and Lee University in Lexington in 1949-50.
Cy Twombly goes to New York in 1950 and continues his studies at the Art Students League, where he gets to know Robert Rauschenberg. In 1951 he changes to the Black Mountain College in North Carolina. A year later Twombly and Robert Rauschenberg go on a journey to South America, Spain, North Africa and Italy. He returns to New York a year later and begins his teaching activities at the Southern Seminary and Junior College in Buena Vista, Virginia in 1955. In 1957 Twombly moves to Rome, where he marries the Italian Tatia Franchetti - sister of his patron Giorgio Franchetti.
Twombly's early works, made around 1951, show the influence of Franz Kline, who is his teacher at Black Mountain College, but are most of all an examination of Paul Klee's art. The canvas becomes a projection screen for his own mental and physical presence, the stroke of brush becomes more and more gestural expressive. Like Jean Dubuffet, Cy Twombly mixes other materials into the paint. After having moved to Italy, he combines these psychograms with mythological and literary references. His color palette brightens up in the Mediterranean light, the color application becomes more lively.
Cy Twomblys filigrane pictures often seem like hasty scribblings. He strings together symbols, characters and simple forms. Around 1975, Cy Twombly begins to integrate paper into his pictures on canvas, he also mixes various materials such as oil, acrylic, watercolors and pastels, to create multi-layer surface structures, traces and scribblings. As of 1955, he also works on sculptures that he puts together from found objects and simple materials and paints them with Cementino, a white wall paint. Some are also cast in synthetic resin or bronze.
Cy Twombly belongs to the group of internationally acknowledged artists, his work is shown in numerous international exhibitions. The Cy Twombly Gallery is opened in Houston in 1995, which was designed by the architect Renzo Piano in co-operation with the artist.
Cy Twombly lived and worked in Rome and Gaeta, Italy, as well as in Lexington, USA. Cy Twombly died in Rome on 5 July. His son, Cyrus Alessandro Twombly is also a painter and lives in Rome as well.


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