Thoughts On Cy Twombly

Even the sound of his given name is an onomatopoetic expression for the way his hand worked a canvas. Cy Twombly: light caresses over surface-—made more spacious by places of scripting, paint-scraping, wrist-rolling, reaching, stain-making, raking—straight white drips coupling with gray. Layering, over scribbles, scumbling, laying down more layers till blood orange kisses an unbleached white. These shapes–they swim, they play, suspended like jangled jelly fish, like hovering sea birds—Uccello Marino—tracing infinite loops in the sky—until a wing-dipping stroke transforms me again, and I am no longer treading wind, but tumbling, tumbling—pelvis-over-head, once again—to see.

—Margaret Pettee Olsen

Cy Twombly defied categorization as a painter working among the abstract expressionists.  He died in Rome, Italy July 5, 2011.  He was 83.


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