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Moving remembrances of Cy Twombly

October 31, 2011

The American-born artist Cy Twombly, who spent much of his career in Italy, has always been a hero and inspiration to this blogger and his death this past summer at the age of 83 was a shock.  The current issue of Artforum has several excellent remembrances, including one by Jeffrey Weiss, who curated the 2001 National Gallery of Art exhibition of Twombly’s largely unknown body of sculptural work (one of the gallery’s best exhibitions of the past 30 years).

Unlike some of his contemporaries, Twombly’s late career work was commanding and majestic, bespeaking an artist still at the top of his game.  The eight works form the Bacchus series first shown in New York in 2005, are heroic in scale, voluptuous and energy-filled.  Their collective presence was both vertigo-inducing and a rich celebration of artistic creation.

Bacchus installation shot, Gagosian Gallery, 2005.

Bacchus series installation shot, showing Untitled, 2005, 10'8" x 16'2.25", Gagosian Gallery, 2005.

One of the first serious tests of the artist’s market following his death comes November 7th at Phillips in New York, with this lot, Untitled, 2006, carrying a very aggressive estimate of $8-12 million.  The NY Times’ Carol Vogel reports the work originally sold for some $3 million.

CY TWOMBLY 1928-2011 Untitled, 2006 acrylic on canvas 84 3/4 x 66 in. (215 x 167.8 cm) Signed “CT” upper left. Estimate $8,000,000-$12,000,000
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