Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tragedies in the Art World

Cy Twombly Dies

Yesterday, July 5, Cy Twombly passed away in Rome, Italy. One of the most influential and successful abstract artists of all time, Twombly was born in Virginia, but lived most of his adult life in Italy. Twombly emerged in the mid 19th century alongside Rauschenberg, Motherwell, and Kline, and from then rose to fame. He was known for his "scribbling," linear, large-scale abstract paintings. Several examples are included below. He has always been a favorite artist of ours, and a constant source of inspiration.

Twombly was only the third contemporary artist given the honor of painting a gallery ceiling in the Louvre, the others being Kiefer and Braque. The painting, which is 3,750 square feet, can be found in the Salle des Bronzes.

(above image, Twombly's "Say Goodbye, Catullus, to the Shores of Asia Minor," courtesy of

(image courtesy of

As Jerry Saltz so eloquently said in his celebration of Twombly's life, which can be read here, "Twombly’s fusing of thought, mark-making, narrative, history, myth, and formalism made me see that there is no such thing as purely abstract or representational art. He’s the artist who made me see that all art is equally abstract and that something as simple as handwriting and scribbling, unleashed, can be art."

(image courtesy of

Art Heist in San Francisco

(Picasso's Tête de femme, image courtesy of BBC News)

In other art news, yesterday a "well dressed" man walked into a San Francisco art gallery, grabbed a Picasso drawing off the wall, and walked back outside to an awaiting cab. He has not been apprehended. The Weinstein Gallery, which also carries the work of Chagall, Miro, and Dali to name a few high profile artists, fears that the painting will be discarded once the thief realizes it will be tough to resell. The piece, Tête de femme, is a pencil on paper drawing thought to have been created in 1965, and with an estimated worth of $200,000. Sounds a bit like The Thomas Crown Affair?

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