Cy Twombly American
Printer Donn Steward American
Publisher Universal Limited Art Editions American

Not on view

The prints in the Sketches portfolio contain multiple allusions to the gestures and forms of writing, as well as to the physical process of mark-making. However, despite visible letters and shapes, Twombly’s skeins, objects, and ideograms convey neither information nor narrative. Instead, the artist presents writing as an abstraction. His rhythmic glyphs and flowing lines evoke a range of associations, including graffiti, children’s doodles, mathematical formulations, and exercises for learning and refining script. The wiry, inimitable forms lack perfected regularity and instead allude to the physical and mental fatigue that comes from the acts of writing and of creating art. These allover compositions with bold, fluid lines concurrently recall the gestures of the Abstract Expressionists and the everyday jottings of unrelated marks, words, and bits of design that one might make in a small notebook.

Sketches, Cy Twombly (American, Lexington, Virginia 1928–2011 Rome), Etching

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