Cy Twombly - Evening & Day Editions New York Monday, April 25, 2016 | Phillips

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  • Catalogue Essay

    In 2001, the legendary curator Harald Szeemann invited Cy Twombly to make a work that would be relevant to the Plateau of Humankind exhibition organized by the Venice Biennale, a melancholic farewell of modernity in the threshold between two centuries. Twombly created a large narrative cycle ‘frieze’ dedicated to the famous naval battle that took place, in the Gulf of Lepanto on the 7th of October 1571, between the Ottoman Turks and the so-called “Holy League”, a Christian coalition formed by Spain, Venice and the Papacy. Beyond its historical significance as an allied victory over Turkish expansionism, the Battle of Lepanto immediately became a fascinating visual narrative by artists supported by the winners: Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese and Cambiaso, among others.

  • 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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Lepanto III

Cardboard plate engraving printed as monoprint, on Japanese paper, with full margins,
I. 28 3/8 x 19 7/8 in. (72 x 50.5 cm)
S. 38 7/8 x 24 1/4 in. (99 x 61.6 cm)

signed and numbered 12/12 in pencil, published by the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, framed.

$25,000 - 35,000 

Sold for $106,250

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Evening & Day Editions

New York Auction 25 April 2016