Cy Twombly - Contemporary Art Day Sale New York Friday, May 15, 2015 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    The artist
    Galeria Lucio Amelio, Naples
    Studio La Città, Verona
    Hélène Sutton, Verona

  • Exhibited

    Naples, Modern Art Agency, Cy Twombly, Allusions (Bay of Naples), February 21 – March 21, 1975

  • Literature

    Y. Lambert (ed.), Cy Twombly: Catalogue raisonne des Oeuvres sur papier, volume VI: 1973 - 1976 . Milan: Multhipla, 1991, cat. no. 152, p. 140 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Allusion (Bay of Napoli, Part II) is one of five drawings of similar composition that Cy Twombly made in
    January and February of 1975 while staying at the famous Hotel Excelsior in Naples. The left part of the
    diptych is inscribed “2:30” and shows the afternoon light reflected on the bay of Naples looking out to Mt.
    Vesuvius and the island of Capri. The inscription “Orpheus brings order and beauty to Dionysus” is taken
    from Rainer Maria Rilke’s late metaphysical poem, Sonnets to Orpheus.

  • Artist Biography

    Cy Twombly

    American • 1928 - 2011

    Cy Twombly emerged in the mid-1950s alongside New York artists Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg. While at first developing a graffiti-like style influenced by Abstract Expressionist automatism–having notably studied under Franz Kline and Robert Motherwell at the legendary Black Mountain College between 1951 and 1952–Twombly was a prominent figure in the new generation of artists that challenged the abstract orthodoxy of the New York School. Twombly developed a highly unique pictorial language that found its purest expression upon his life-defining move to Rome in 1957. Simultaneously invoking classical history, poetry, mythology and his own contemporary lived experience, Twombly's visual idiom is distinguished by a remarkable vocabulary of signs and marks and the fusion of word and text. 

    Cy Twombly produced graffiti-like paintings that were inspired by the work of Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock and Robert Motherwell. His gestural forms of lines, drips and splattering were at first not well-received, but the artist later became known as the leader of the estrangement from the Abstract Expressionism movement. Full of energy and rawness, Twombly's pieces are reminiscent of childhood sketches and reveal his inspiration from mythology and poetry.

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Allusion (Bay of Napoli, Part I)

collage, oil, crayon, pencil, on two sheets of drawing paper laid over paper
27 3/8 x 78 1/2 in. (69.5 x 199.4 cm)
Titled, “'Allusion' (Bay of Napoli part I)” lower left; further annotated, “Orpheus (brings order and beauty) to Dionysus” on the right sheet; further signed on the reverse.

$200,000 - 300,000 

Contact Specialist
Kate Bryan
Head of Day Sale
New York
+ 1 212 940 1267

Contemporary Art Day Sale

New York Day Sale 15 May 2015 11am