Born in Lexington, Virginia, Cy Twombly (American, 1928–2011) belongs to the Post-Abstract Expressionist generation. He moved to New York in the early 1950s to attend the Art Students League, where he met artist Robert Rauschenberg (American, 1925–2008), who encouraged him to attend the Black Mountain College, then at the height of its influence. Inspired by the faculty and fellow students at these two institutions, Twombly’s early works draw on a gestural abstraction, similar to the work of Franz Kline (American, 1910–1962), but he quickly developed a personal graffiti-like style, laden with references to literature.

In 1957, after traveling around Europe, a stint the army, and briefly living in New York, Twombly settled permanently in Italy, which strengthened his engagement with classical literature, history, and mythology. He became most famous for his large-scale scribbled graffiti paintings, which blur the line between drawing and painting, though he also created a number of sculptures that frequently refer to mythology. For many years, Twombly was better known in Europe than in the United States, but today he is recognized worldwide as one of the most inventive painters of his generation.

Timeline

1928
Born: Lexington, VA
1948–1951
Attended School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Boston, MA
1948–1951
Attended Washington & Lee University, Lexington, VA
1951–1952
Art Students League, New York, NY. Black Mountain College. Beria, NC.
1952
Travelling Grant, The Richmond Art Museum
2001
Winner of the Leone d'Oro for Contemporary Art at the Venice Biennale
American Academy, Institute of Arts and Letters

Exhibitions

2013
Cy Twombly, On Paper, Galerie Karsten Greve Paris, Paris, France
2013
Turbulences II - Villa Empain - Boghossian Foundation, Brussels
Legacy: The Emily Fisher Landau Collection - Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL
Fenêtres, de la Renaissance à nos jours. Dürer, Monet, Magritte... - Fondation de l'Hermitage, Lausanne
De La Historia - Museo Guggenheim de Arte Moderno y Contemporáneo, Bilbao
2012
Cy Twombly The Last Paintings - Gagosian Gallery , New York City, NY
Cy Twombly - Photographs 1951–2010 - BOZAR - Palais des Beaux-Arts / Paleis voor Schone Kunsten, Brussels
2011
Museum Brandhorst, Munich (solo)
London, Dulwich Picture Gallery
2010
Musée du Louvre, Paris
2009
The Art Institute of Chicago (solo)
2008
Tate Modern, London, England (solo)
2007
Cy Twombly - Blooming. A Scattering of Blossoms and other Things, Yvon Lambert Collection – Musée d’ Art Contemporain, Avignon (solo)
2006
Cy Twombly - Neue Skulpturen, Alte Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (solo)
2005
Cy Twombly - 50 Years of Works on Paper, Whitney Museum, New York (solo)
Cy Twombly - 50 Years of Works on Paper, Menil Collection, Houston (solo)
Cy Twombly - Lepanto, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (solo)
2004
Cy Twombly. Serpentine Gallery, London (solo)
Cy Twombly- Drawing on 50. Centre Pompidou. Paris, France (solo)
2003
Cy Twombly. Fifty Years of Works on Paper. State Hermitage Museum. St. Petersburg. Travelled to Munich, Paris and London.
Cy Twombly. Gagosian Gallery. New York, NY (solo)
2002
Pinakothek der Moderne. Munich, Germany (solo)
2001
County Museum of Art. Los Angeles, CA (solo)
2000
Sprengel Museum. Hannover, CT (solo)
The Sculpture. Cy Twombly. Kunstmuseum. Basel. Travelled to Menil Collection, Houston. National Gallery, Washington (solo)
1998
Gagosian Gallery. Los Angeles, CA (solo)
1997
Galerie Karsten Greve. Cologne, Germany (solo)
Paintings, Sculptures, and Paper Works, Galerie Karsten Greve Cologne, Germany
1994
Retrospective, Museum of Modern Art New York, NY
1984
Retrospective of Paintings and Drawings, Kunsthalle Baden-Baden
1982
Retrospective of Sculptures, Museum Haus Lange Krefeld
1979
Comprehensive Retrospective of Works 1954-1977, Whitney Museum of American Art New York, NY
1977
Galerie Karsten Greve Cologne, Germany
1975
Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia, PA
1973
Retrospective, Kunsthalle Bern Switzerland and Munich, Germany
1968
Retrospective, Milwaukee Art Center Milwaukee, WI
1968
Nicholas Wilder Gallery Los Angeles, CA
1960
Leo Castelli Gallery New York
1958
La Tartaruga Rome, Italy
1951
Kootz Gallery New York
The Seven Stars Gallery Chicago, IL

Public Collections

Museum Kurhaus Kleve, Kleve
Museum Brandhorst, Munich
Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich
Museum der Stadt Ratingen, Ratingen
Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen, Siegen
Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Tehran
Terrae Motus, Caserta
CAMeC - Centro de Arte Moderna e Contemporanea della Spezia, La Spezia
Museo D'Arte Contemporanea Donna Regina - MADRE, Naples
Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia
Kawasaki City Museum, Kawasaki
Iwaki City Art Museum, Iwaki
Kawamura Memorial Museum of Art, Chiba
Punta della Dogana - Francois Pinault Foundation, Venice
Galleria Civica d´Arte Moderna e Contemporanea - GAM, Turin
Centre Pompidou - Musée National d´Art Moderne, Paris
Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin
Museum Ludwig, Cologne
Kunstpalais Erlangen, Erlangen
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid
Museo Guggenheim de Arte Moderno y Contemporáneo, Bilbao
Museu d´Art Contemporani de Barcelona - MACBA, Barcelona
Leeum - Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul
Berardo Museum - Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art, Lisbon
MUDAM - Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg
Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Vaduz
Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, TX
Dia: Beacon, Beacon, NY
Tate Modern, London (England)
Tate Britain, London (England)
Kunsthaus Zürich, Zurich
Daros Exhibitions, Zurich
Museum für Gegenwartskunst - Emanuel Hoffmann-Stiftung, Basel
Kunstmuseum Basel, Basel
Dia Art Foundation: Chelsea, New York City, NY
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT
Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI
MOCA Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles County Museum of Art - LACMA, Los Angeles, CA
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO
The Menil Collection, Houston, TX
The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, TX
Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, IA
Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels
Collection Lambert, Avignon
The McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TX
Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City, UT
The RISD Museum - University of Rhode Island, Providence, RI
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City, NY
MoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NY
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City, NY
Fisher Landau Center For Art, New York City, NY