Untitled I

Cy Twombly American
Published by Universal Limited Art Editions American

Not on view

In Untitled I, Twombly focuses on the physical process of mark-making, highlighting through exaggeration the rhythmic quality of the gesture. Despite mimicking script, the looped, linear forms convey neither information nor narrative, thus turning writing into an abstraction. The dark palette evokes a blackboard (a reference the artist also explored in paintings during this period), an effect achieved by layering black ink over white before printing the etched plate. The allover composition and fluid lines recall works by Abstract Expressionists, yet the regularity and repetition of both horizontal bands and looped forms reject such influence. Unlike clearly articulated, finely modeled calligraphic marks, Twombly’s loosely drawn forms show variations in structure, size, and tone, the latter of which he encouraged by using the open bite etching technique.

Untitled I, Cy Twombly (American, Lexington, Virginia 1928–2011 Rome), Open-bite etching with aquatint

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