A serious comprehensive overview of Cy Twombly's art has been much in demand for many years, and in this publication we at last have one. Accompanying a major touring retrospective to mark Twombly's eightieth year, it surveys a vast output of paintings, drawings and sculpture by an artist whose indifference to supposed distinctions between Pop and abstraction, between writing, drawing and painting, and between literature and art had, for many years, brought his work severe neglect. Twombly's art upsets the prudish purist with its hybridism; as he declares, "I'm not a pure; I'm not an abstractionist completely. There has to be a history behind the thought." For Twombly, this history entails a wealth of literary and mythic allusion and an openness to all kinds of forms. Alongside contributions from Richard Shiff, Nicolas Cullinan and Tacita Dean, this essential volume also presents a rare and revealing interview with the artist by Nicholas Serota, an illustrated chronology, an exhibition history and an extensive biography. It will be the most thorough examination of the life and work of this extraordinary artist for years to come.
Cy Twombly is a leading figure in a heterogeneous generation of American artists that also includes Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns. Unlike these others, he left America early in his career to live and work in Italy, where he has drawn inspiration from European literature, classical culture and the Italian landscape.