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Cy Twombly, Lepanto, 2001
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THINKING BETWEEN
HIS LEGS

by Jerry Saltz



Cy Twombly, a giant of post-war American art, died at 83 on July 5, 2011. Along with Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, he moved painting beyond the heroic domains of Abstract Expressionism. Where his predecessors worked in brawny swaths of paint, Twombly focused on the delicate, scratching and scribbling, fusing looping calligraphic line, odd marks, raw smudges, blackboard-like scrawls and gorgeous visceral color with intimations of myth, narrative and a Whitman-esque feel for effusion and the erotic. (Roland Barthes once wrote that Twombly’s marks conjure “English colleges, Latin verses, desks, notations in finely written pencil.”)

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