Cy Twombly

The other day I was in the Peggy Guggenheim Collection here in Venice and for the first time actually noticed a painting by Cy Twombly. It's possible that the painting was not there before, or that my state of mind at the time caused me to ignore it. But now I was looking for some inspiration, as I have not painted anything for a few weeks, and did not have the inclination to do so. Since the visit I have not painted, either, but I bought two canvases.

I had heard of Cy, but I had not lent any importance to him until now. I did a little research when I got home and discovered that he is still living, and lives and works in Rome. I looked at other of his paintings on the internet. I do not like all of them, and I think the best work was done in the 50's, but he is still going at it, although he is 80. This gives me hope.

My research came up with an article relating to his recent exhibition at the Tate Modern. There were tidbits from an interview with him, and the most interesting part was his observation that he looked in books dealing with modern art, and the abstract expressionists or gesturalists, of which he is clearly one, but his name does not appear. His works are in important museums all over the world, but he is still only a blip on the radar. Is this because he is still alive?

His paintings, even the more recent stuff, are sort of the antithesis of mine. I generally cover the whole canvas (but not always) and that part of the canvas that is covered is full of color and activity. His paintings, particularly the older ones, are much more sparse. You may see more of this effect in my paintings in the future; I like the effect. Actually, it had occurred to me to make sparse paintings with pencil marks and drawings, but I have not been able to bring myself to stop painting before the canvas is covered.

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