Cy Twombly has sadly passed away today in Rome at the age of 83. Regarded as one of the foremost contemporary painters, he was a part of a generation of American artists who emerged after Abstract Expressionism seeking to pave the way for new kinds of painting.
His work was influenced by the automatic techniques of the Surrealists, demonstrated by the dense pencil scribbles on the surface of much of his earlier work. Often described as graffiti-like scrawls, they were meant to subvert the calligraphic gestures of artists like Jackson Pollock, while introducing elements of hesitancy and fragility into Abstract Expressionism.
In the late 1950’s he moved to Italy, where his work began to draw influence from poetry, classical mythology, as well as the light and landscape of the Mediterranean.
As my friend peter put it best “He was 83 but still mileage left in his brush”