Twombly used the nickname "Cy", after his father (also nicknamed Cy, who was briefly a pitcher in Major League Baseball) and the star baseball pitcher Cy Young. Twombly's paintings blur the line between drawing and painting. Many of his best-known paintings of the late 1960s are reminiscent of a school blackboard on which someone has practiced cursive "e"s. Twombly had at this point discarded painting figurative, representational subject-matter, citing the line or smudge – each mark with its own history – as its proper subject.
Later, many of his paintings and works on paper moved into "romantic symbolism", and their titles can be interpreted visually through shapes and forms and words. Twombly often quoted the poet Stéphane Mallarmé, as well as many classical myths and allegories in his works. Examples of this are his Apollo and The Artist and a series of eight drawings consisting solely of inscriptions of the word "VIRGIL". In a 1994 retrospective, curator Kirk Varnedoe described Twombly's work as “influential among artists, discomfiting to many critics and truculently difficult not just for a broad public, but for sophisticated initiates of postwar art as well.” After acquiring Twombly's Three Studies from the Temeraire (1998–99), the Director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales said "sometimes people need a little bit of help in recognising a great work of art that might be a bit unfamiliar". He is said to have influenced younger artists such as Anselm Kiefer, Francesco Clemente, and Julian Schnabel.
Robert Rauschenberg and Cy Twombly (right). Photograph: Jacques Haillot/Corbis Sygma and David Lees/Getty
Cy Twombly was an American artist well known for his large-scale graffiti paintings. He exhibited his paintings worldwide. He studied at the Art Students League of New York, where he met Robert Rauschenberg, who encouraged him to attend Black Mountain College near Asheville, North Carolina. From 1955 to 1959, he worked in NY, where he became a prominent figure among a group of artists including Robert Rauschenberg – with whom he had a relationship and was sharing a studio – and Jasper Johns.
Ferragosto III, 1961
Pan II, 1980
Camino Real IV, 2010
Twombly was born in Lexington, Virginia, on April 25, 1928. Twombly's father, also nicknamed "Cy", pitched for the Chicago White Sox. They were both nicknamed after the baseball great Cy Young who pitched for among others the Cardinals, Red Sox, Indians, and Braves.
At age 12, he began to take private art lessons with the Spanish modern master Pierre Daura. He served as a cryptographer in the U.S. army. After graduating from Lexington High School in 1946, Twombly attended Darlington School in Rome, Georgia, and studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (1948–49), and at Washington and Lee University (1949–50) in Lexington, Virginia. On a tuition scholarship from 1950 to 1951, he studied at the Art Students League of New York, where he met Robert Rauschenberg, who encouraged him to attend Black Mountain College near Asheville, North Carolina. At Black Mountain in 1951 and 1952 he studied with Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell and Ben Shahn, and met John Cage.
Arranged by Motherwell, the Samuel Kootz Gallery in New York organized Twombly's first solo exhibition in 1951. At this time his work was influenced by Kline's black-and-white gestural expressionism, as well as Paul Klee's imagery. In 1952, Twombly received a grant from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, which enabled him to travel to North Africa, Spain, Italy, and France. Between 1954 and 1956, he taught at the Southern Seminary and Junior College in Buena Vista, Virginia.
In 1957, Twombly moved to Rome, where he met the Italian artist Baroness Tatiana Franchetti – sister of his patron Baron Giorgio Franchetti. They were married at City Hall in New York in 1959 and then bought a palazzo on the Via di Monserrato in Rome. Later on, they preferred to dwell in Gaeta near Rome. In 2011, Twombly died in Rome after being hospitalized for several days; he had had cancer for many years. He has a son, Cyrus Alessandro Twombly, who is also a painter and lives in Rome.
After his return in 1953, Twombly served in the U.S. army as a cryptologist, an activity that left a distinct mark on his artistic style. From 1955 to 1959, he worked in New York, where he became a prominent figure among a group of artists including Robert Rauschenberg – with whom he had a relationship and was sharing a studio – and Jasper Johns. Exposure to the emerging New York School purged figurative aspects from his work, encouraging a simplified form of abstraction. He became fascinated with tribal art, using the painterly language of the early 1950s to invoke primitivism, reversing the normal evolution of the New York School. Twombly soon developed a technique of gestural drawing that was characterized by thin white lines on a dark canvas that appear to be scratched onto the surface. His early sculptures, assembled from discarded objects, similarly cast their gaze back to Europe and North Africa. He stopped making sculptures in 1959 and did not take up sculpturing again until 1976.
Just when Johns and Rauschenberg were starting to sell to museums as well as private collectors, Twombly, who was not yet 30, moved to Gaeta in Southern Italy in 1957. This furthered his use of classical sources: from 1962 he produced a cycle of works based on subjects from history such as Leda and the Swan. The subject of Leda and the Swan, like that of The Birth of Venus was one of the most dramatic and frequent themes of Twombly's work of the early 1960s. Between 1960 and 1963 Twombly painted the subject of Leda's rape by the god Zeus/Jupiter in the form of a Swan six times, once in 1960, twice in 1962 and three times in 1963. Twombly was interested in different mythological figures and began to inscribe their names during the 1960s.
The critical low point probably came after a widely panned 1964 exhibition of the nine-panel Discourses on Commodus (1963) at the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York. The artist and writer Donald Judd was especially damning, calling the show a fiasco. “There are a few drips and splatters and an occasional pencil line,” he wrote in a review. “There isn’t anything to these paintings.”
Erotic and corporeal symbols became more prominent, whilst a greater lyricism developed in his 'Blackboard paintings'. Between 1967 and 1971, he produced a number of works on gray grounds, the 'grey paintings'. This series features terse, colorless scrawls, reminiscent of chalk on a blackboard, that form no actual words. Twombly made this work using an unusual technique: he sat on the shoulders of a friend, who shuttled back and forth along the length of the canvas, thus allowing the artist to create his fluid, continuous lines. In the summer and early autumn of 1969, Twombly made a series of fourteen paintings while staying at Bolsena, a lake to the north of Rome. In 1971, Nini Pirandello, the wife of Twombly’s Roman gallerist Plinio De Martiis, died suddenly. In tribute, Twombly painted the elegiac "Nini’s Paintings".
His later sculptures exhibit a similar blend of emotional expansiveness and intellectual sophistication. From 1976, Twombly again produced sculptures, lightly painted in white, suggestive of Classical forms. Like his earlier works, these pieces are assembled from found materials such as pieces of wood or packaging, or cast in bronze and covered in white paint and plaster. In an interview with critic David Sylvester, on the occasion of the large exhibition of his sculpture at Kunstmuseum Basel in 2000, Twombly revealed that, for him, the demands of making sculpture were distinctly different from those required of painting. “[Sculpture is] a whole other state. And it’s a building thing. Whereas the painting is more fusing—fusing of ideas, fusing of feelings, fusing projected on atmosphere.”
In the mid-1970s, in paintings such as Untitled (1976), Twombly began to evoke landscape through colour (favouring brown, green and light blue), written inscriptions and collage elements. In 1978 he worked on the monumental historical ensemble Fifty Days at Iliam, a ten-part cycle inspired by Homer's Iliad; since then Twombly continued to draw on literature and myth, deploying cryptic pictorial metaphors that situate individual experience within the grand narratives of Western tradition, as in the Gaeta canvases and the monumental Four Seasons concluded in 1994.
In an essay in the catalogue to the 2011 Dulwich exhibition (see below), Katharina Schmidt summarizes the scope and technique of Twombly's œuvre:
"Cy Twombly's work can be understood as one vast engagement with cultural memory. His paintings, drawings and sculptures on mythological subjects have come to form a significant part of that memory. Usually drawing on the most familiar gods and heroes, he restricts himself to just a few, relatively well-known episodes, as narrated by poet-historians, given visible shape by artists and repeatedly reinterpreted in the literature and visual art of later centuries.....His special medium is writing. Starting out from purely graphic marks, he developed a kind of meta-script in which abbreviated signs, hatchings, loops, numbers and the simplest of pictographs spread throughout the picture plane in a process of incessant movement, repeatedly subverted by erasures. Eventually, this metamorphosed into script itself."However, in a 1994 article Kirk Varnedoe thought it necessary to defend Twombly's seemingly random marks and splashes of paint against the criticism that "This is just scribbles – my kid could do it".
"One could say that any child could make a drawing like Twombly only in the sense that any fool with a hammer could fragment sculptures as Rodin did, or any house painter could spatter paint as well as Pollock. In none of these cases would it be true. In each case the art lies not so much in the finesse of the individual mark, but in the orchestration of a previously uncodified set of personal "rules" about where to act and where not, how far to go and when to stop, in such a way as the cumulative courtship of seeming chaos defines an original, hybrid kind of order, which in turn illuminates a complex sense of human experience not voiced or left marginal in previous art."Together with Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, Twombly is regarded as the most important representative of a generation of artists who distanced themselves from Abstract Expressionism.
A first monograph of drawings edited by Heiner Bastian was published in 1972. In 1977, the first monograph on the paintings was published by Propyläen Verlag in Berlin, followed by the publication of his catalogue raisonne of sculpture by Nicola Del Roscio in 1997.
Jasper Johns, Jr. (born May 15, 1930) is an American contemporary artist who works primarily in painting and printmaking.
Born in Augusta, Georgia, Jasper Johns spent his early life in Allendale, South Carolina with his paternal grandparents after his parents' marriage failed. He then spent a year living with his mother in Columbia, South Carolina and thereafter he spent several years living with his aunt Gladys in Lake Murray, South Carolina, twenty-two miles from Columbia. He completed high school in Sumter, South Carolina, where he once again lived with his mother. Recounting this period in his life, he says, "In the place where I was a child, there were no artists and there was no art, so I really didn't know what that meant. I think I thought it meant that I would be in a situation different than the one that I was in." He began drawing when he was three and has continued doing art ever since.
Johns studied at the University of South Carolina from 1947 to 1948, a total of three semesters. He then moved to New York City and studied briefly at the Parsons School of Design in 1949. In 1952 and 1953 he was stationed in Sendai, Japan during the Korean War.
Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns revolutionized the art world. They incorporated everyday objects and popular imagery into their works, thereby pioneering what amounted to an entire new category of visual media. In 1954, after returning to New York, Johns met Robert Rauschenberg and they became long term lovers. Rauschenberg and Johns were in an outlaw marriage from 1954 until 1962, a period that critics consider the most fertile in both artists’ long careers.
Numbers in Color (1958–59)
In 1954, after returning to New York, Johns met Robert Rauschenberg and they became long term lovers. In the same period he was strongly influenced by the gay couple Merce Cunningham (a choreographer) and John Cage (a composer). Working together they explored the contemporary art scene, and began developing their ideas on art. In 1958, gallery owner Leo Castelli discovered Johns while visiting Rauschenberg's studio. Castelli gave him his first solo show. It was here that Alfred Barr, the founding director of New York's Museum of Modern Art, purchased four works from his exhibition. In 1963, Johns and Cage founded Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, now known as Foundation for Contemporary Arts in New York City. Johns currently lives in Sharon, Connecticut and the Island of Saint Martin. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1984.
Ben Martin, Jasper Johns, Age 29, at Castelli Gallery with Target Painting, Rudi Belsh Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
On February 15, 2011 he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama, becoming the first painter or sculptor to receive a Presidential Medal of Freedom since Alexander Calder in 1977.
Johns is best known for his painting Flag (1954–55), which he painted after having a dream of the American flag. His work is often described as a Neo-Dadaist, as opposed to pop art, even though his subject matter often includes images and objects from popular culture. Still, many compilations on pop art include Jasper Johns as a pop artist because of his artistic use of classical iconography.
Early works were composed using simple schema such as flags, maps, targets, letters and numbers. Johns' treatment of the surface is often lush and painterly; he is famous for incorporating such media as encaustic and plaster relief in his paintings. Johns played with and presented opposites, contradictions, paradoxes, and ironies, much like Marcel Duchamp (who was associated with the Dada movement). Johns also produces intaglio prints, sculptures and lithographs with similar motifs.
Johns' breakthrough move, which was to inform much later work by others, was to appropriate popular iconography for painting, thus allowing a set of familiar associations to answer the need for subject. Though the Abstract Expressionists disdained subject matter, it could be argued that in the end, they had simply changed subjects. Johns neutralized the subject, so that something like a pure painted surface could declare itself. For twenty years after Johns painted Flag, the surface could suffice – for example, in Andy Warhol's silkscreens, or in Robert Irwin's illuminated ambient works.
Abstract Expressionist figures like Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning subscribed to the concept of a macho "artist hero," and their paintings are indexical in that they stand effectively as a signature on canvas. In contrast, Neo-Dadaists like Johns and Rauschenberg seemed preoccupied with a lessening of the reliance of their art on indexical qualities, seeking instead to create meaning solely through the use of conventional symbols. Some have interpreted this as a rejection of the hallowed individualism of the Abstract Expressionists. Their works also imply symbols existing outside of any referential context. Johns' Flag, for instance, is primarily a visual object, divorced from its symbolic connotations and reduced to something in-itself.
In 1990, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts. He is represented by the Matthew Marks Gallery in New York City, and in the spring 2008, a ten-year retrospective of Johns' drawings was mounted there.
In 1998, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York bought Johns' White Flag. While the Met would not disclose how much was paid, "experts estimate [the painting's] value at more than $20 million." In 2006, private collectors Anne and Kenneth Griffin (founder of the Chicago-based hedge fund Citadel LLC) bought Johns' False Start for $80 million, making it the most expensive painting by a living artist.
The National Gallery of Art acquired about 1,700 of Johns' proofs in 2007. This made the Gallery home to the largest number of Johns' works held by a single institution. The exhibition showed works from many points in Johns' career, including recent proofs of his prints.
Since the 1980s, Johns produces paintings at four to five a year, sometimes not at all during a year. His large scale paintings are much favored by collectors and because of their rarity, it is known that Johns' works are extremely difficult to acquire.
Skate’s Art Market Research (Skate Press, Ltd.), a New York based advisory firm servicing private and institutional investors in the art market, has ranked Jasper Johns as the 30th most valuable artist. The firm’s index of the 1,000 most valuable works of art sold at auction – Skate’s Top 1000 – contains 7 works by Johns.
The Greenville County Museum of Art in Greenville, South Carolina, has several of his pieces in their permanent collection.
White Flag (1955)
Target with Plaster Casts (1955)
False Start (1959)
Three Flags (1958)
Painting With Two Balls (1960)
Painted Bronze (1960)
Study for Skin (1962)
Periscope (Hart Crane) (1963)
Figure Five (1963–64)
The Critic Sees (1964)
Tantric Detail (1980)
Robert Rauschenberg (October 22, 1925 – May 12, 2008) was an American artist who came to prominence in the 1950s transition from Abstract Expressionism to Pop Art. Rauschenberg is well known for his "Combines" of the 1950s, in which non-traditional materials and objects were employed in innovative combinations. Rauschenberg was both a painter and a sculptor and the Combines are a combination of both, but he also worked with photography, printmaking, papermaking, and performance. He was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1993.
Rauschenberg lived and worked in New York City as well as on Captiva Island, Florida until his death from heart failure on May 12, 2008.
Rauschenberg was born as Milton Ernest Rauschenberg in Port Arthur, Texas, the son of Dora Carolina (née Matson) and Ernest R. Rauschenberg. His father was of German and Cherokee ancestry and his mother of Anglo-Saxon descent. His parents were Fundamentalist Christians. Rauschenberg studied at the Kansas City Art Institute and the Académie Julian in Paris, France, where he met the painter Susan Weil. In 1948 Rauschenberg and Weil decided to attend Black Mountain College in North Carolina.
Josef Albers, a founder of the Bauhaus, became Rauschenberg's painting instructor at Black Mountain. Albers' preliminary courses relied on strict discipline that did not allow for any "uninfluenced experimentation". Rauschenberg described Albers as influencing him to do "exactly the reverse" of what he was being taught.
Robert Rauschenberg was an American artist who came to prominence in the 1950s transition from Abstract Expressionism to Pop Art. After the end of his marriage, Rauschenberg had romantic relationships with fellow artists Cy Twombly and Jasper Johns. Robert Rauschenberg died on May 12, 2008, on Captiva Island, Florida. He died of heart failure after a personal decision to go off life support. Rauschenberg is survived by his partner of 25 years, artist Darryl Pottorf, his former assistant.
From 1949 to 1952 Rauschenberg studied with Vaclav Vytlacil and Morris Kantor at the Art Students League of New York, where he met fellow artists Knox Martin and Cy Twombly.
Rauschenberg married Susan Weil in 1950. Their only child, Christopher, was born July 16, 1951. They divorced in 1953. According to a 1987 oral history by the composer Morton Feldman, after the end of his marriage, Rauschenberg had romantic relationships with fellow artists Cy Twombly and Jasper Johns. An article by Jonathan D. Katz states that Rauschenberg's affair with Twombly began during his marriage to Susan Weil.
Rauschenberg died on May 12, 2008, on Captiva Island, Florida. He died of heart failure after a personal decision to go off life support. Rauschenberg is survived by his partner of 25 years, artist Darryl Pottorf, his former assistant. Rauschenberg is also survived by his son, photographer Christopher Rauschenberg, and his sister, Janet Begneaud.
Rauschenberg's will, filed in Probate Court on October 9, 2008, names his charitable foundation as a major beneficiary, along with Pottorf, Christopher Rauschenberg, Begneaud, his nephew Byron Richard Begneaud, and Susan Weil Kirschenbaum. The amounts to be given to the beneficiaries are not named, but the estate is "worth millions," said Pottorf, who is also executor of the estate.
A memorial exhibition of photographs opened October 22, 2008, (on the occasion of what would have been his 83rd birthday) and closed November 5, 2008 at the Guggenheim Museum.
Jasper Johns: Privileged Information by Jill Johnston
Hardcover: 335 pages
Publisher: Thames & Hudson; First Edition edition (October 1996)
Amazon: Jasper Johns: Privileged Information
Fusing criticism and biography, this work offers insight into the life and work of America's pre-eminent living artist. Assigned to write a review of Jasper Johns's "The Seasons", a series of paintings that would be acclaimed at the 1988 Venice Biennale, Jill Johnston became intrigued by a mysterious detail in each of these paintings which is designed to look like a jigsaw puzzle piece. She found the source of this detail in Grunewald's 16th-century masterpiece, the "Isenheim Alterpiece" and it was this image, of a grotesquely diseased and dying man, that helped Johnston unlock an autobiographical core in Johns's work. Whereas most critics have been impressed by the formal qualities of Johns's paintings, Johnston discovers riches of personal meaning throughout his art. She charts the evolution of Johns's artistic, personal and public identities, from his family roots in South Carolina though to the early 1950s when Johns, together with Rauschenberg, Cunningham and Cage, overturned assumtions about modern art, dance, music and theatre. She interviewed many figures associated with Johns and had several enigmatic encounters with Johns himself
Robert Rauschenberg: Cardboards and Related Pieces (Menil Collection) by Yve-Alain Bois
Hardcover: 152 pages
Publisher: The Menil Collection (April 28, 2007)
Amazon: Robert Rauschenberg: Cardboards and Related Pieces
Robert Rauschenberg (b. 1925) began to investigate the boundaries between painting and sculpture in the 1950s, working with a variety of found objects in his Combine paintings and freestanding Combines. Later, in his Cardboard series (1971--72), he confined himself to the use of cardboard boxes, eliminating virtually all imagery, reducing the palette to a near monochrome, and commenting in subtle ways on the materialism and disposability of modern life. This book is the first to focus exclusively on Rauschenberg’s rarely seen Cardboards, along with related works from his Made in Tampa Clay, Cardbirds, Egyptian, and Venetian series.
Approximately eighty-eight Cardboards and related sculptural pieces, many from the artist’s personal collection, are reproduced in the book. Full provenance and exhibition history are provided for each work, along with a complete bibliography. In addition, distinguished scholar Yve-Alain Bois offers an insightful essay that discusses the Cardboards and situates these lesser-known but critical pieces within the context of Rauschenberg’s long and creative career.
Off the Wall: A Portrait of Robert Rauschenberg [Deckle Edge] by Calvin Tomkins
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Picador; Revised and Updated edition (November 29, 2005)
Amazon: Off the Wall: A Portrait of Robert Rauschenberg
Calvin Tomkins first discovered the work of Robert Rauschenberg in the late 1950s, when he began to look seriously at contemporary art. While gazing at Rauschenberg's painting Double Feature, Tomkins felt compelled to make some kind of literal connection to the work, and it is in that sprit that "for the last forty years it's been [his] ambition to write about contemporary art not as a critic or a judge, but as a participant." Tomkins has spent many of those years writing about Robert Rauschenberg, whom he rapidly came to see as "one of the most inventive and influential artists of his generation." So it seemed natural to make Rauschenberg the focus of Off the Wall, which deals with the radical changes that have made advanced visual art such a powerful force in the world.
Off the Wall chronicles the astonishingly creative period of the 1950s and 1960s, a high point in American art. In his in his collaborations with Merce Cunningham and John Cage, and as a pivotal figure linking abstract expressionism and pop art, Rauschenberg was part of a revolution during which artists moved art off the walls of museums and galleries and into the center of the social scene. Rauschenberg's vitally important and productive career spans this revolution, reaching beyond it to the present day. Featuring the artists and the art world surrounding Rauschenberg--from Jackson Pollock, and Willem de Kooning to Jasper Johns, Frank Stella, and Andy Warhol, together with dealers Betty Parsons, and Leo Castelli, and the patron Peggy Guggenheim--Tomkins's stylish and witty portrait of one of America's most original and inspiring artists is fascinating, enlightening, and very entertaining.
Rauschenberg: Art and Life by Mary Lynn Kotz
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams (November 16, 2004)
Amazon: Rauschenberg: Art and Life
A revised edition of a retrospective on the Venice Biennale grand prize-winning artist incorporates the last ten years of his career including his retrospective exhibition at the Guggenheim in 1997, in a lavishly illustrated portrait that traces his early years, the creation of his famous combines, and his work with new technologies.
Robert Rauschenberg: Breaking Boundaries by Robert Saltonstall Mattison & Robert Rauschenberg
Hardcover: 284 pages
Publisher: Yale University Press (September 1, 2003)
Amazon: Robert Rauschenberg: Breaking Boundaries
Robert Rauschenberg is one of the most prolific and best-known artists of the post-war period, whose work, ranging across a number of disciplines, has influenced avant-garde art since the 1950s. Rauschenberg has allowed Robert Mattison into his studio to observe the artist at work and this resulting work examines selected projects in depth so that the meaning of his art, his working procedures, and the reasons behind his various artistic choices may be better understood. The text covers the influence of urbanism on Rauschenberg's "Combine" paintings of the 1950s and explores his involvement with the "space race" during the 1960s and 1970s, relating his works to popular culture and demonstrating the development of his ideas about the peaceful exploration of space. Mattison examines Rauschenberg's extensive involvement in the performing arts, tracing his connections to avant-garde dance in America, addressing his own performances, and focusing on his work with the well-known choreographer Trisha Brown. The final chapter examines Rauschenberg's most extensive artistic undertaking, the Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange (ROCI). One venue of this seven-year and 11-country project was Chile, which Rauschenberg visited while the country was under the rule of the dictator, Augusto Pinochet. The author shows how in dangerous political circumstances Rauschenberg was able to execute and exhibit works critical of the government. Widely illustrated with Rauschenberg's works and photographs of the artist in performance and in the studio, the mixture of the visual arts, politics, technology, dance and urban theory, among other issues, covered in this study should make it suitable for a wide audience
Cy Twombly: Fifty Years of Works on Paper
Hardcover: 156 pages
Publisher: Schirmer/Mosel; 2 edition (June 30, 2008)
Amazon: Cy Twombly: Fifty Years of Works on Paper
Cy Twombly is undoubtedly the most sensitive mind among the greats of contemporary art. His work finds its most personal expression in the small, intimately sized drawings which he has from the very outset produced by way of accompaniment to his paintings: they not only reflect all the stages in the development of his painterly oeuvre but essentially also transcend it. Our book covers the major retrospective which the Hermitage has organized to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the City of St. Petersburg. The eighty-four drawings on display here, most of them from the artist's own collection, date from between 1953 and 2002 and thus embrace his entire oeuvre, from the early monotypes to the major mythological cycles of later years. This unique retrospective on fifty years of his marvelous drawings fully reveals just how fascinating Twombly's aesthetic approach is and attests to his great talent for invention.
Arts and Letters by Edmund White
Paperback: 376 pages
Publisher: Cleis Press (September 19, 2006)
Amazon: Arts and Letters
A dazzling collection of profiles and interviews by the preeminent American cultural essayist of our time.
In these 39 lively essays and profiles, best-selling novelist and biographer Edmund White draws on his wide reading and his sly good humor to illuminate some of the most influential writers, artists, and cultural icons of the past century: among them, Marcel Proust, Catherine Deneuve, George Eliot, Andy Warhol, André Gide, David Geffen, and Robert Mapplethorpe. Whether he’s praising Nabokov’s sensuality, or critiquing Elton John’s walk (“as though he’s a wind-up doll that’s been overwound and sent heading for the top of the stairs”), or describing serendipitous moments in his seven-year-long research into the life of Genet, White is unfailingly observant, erudite, and entertaining
Cy Twombly: A Monograph by Richard Leeman
Hardcover: 328 pages
Publisher: Flammarion; English-language Ed edition (June 28, 2005)
Amazon: Cy Twombly: A Monograph
The pictorial creations by American artist Cy Twombly have represented, for more than 50 years, a sort of enigma that reinforces the mythic status of the artist. This book, takes into consideration Twombly’s immense and complex body of work from the 1950s up through his current works, offers a thematic and chronological interpretation of his paintings, drawings, sculptures, and collages. Richard Leeman’s study elucidates the symbols found in Twombly’s paintings―pictograms, numbers, words, colors―that, at first glance, constitute diverse and unique entities, but then assemble to form a veritable language, where their often primitive forms mix on the canvas with allusive fragments of a vast culture. From scribbles and drawings to words, Twombly’s work profoundly articulates a language and memory of desire where painting, drawing, and writing meld into a single art form.
Jasper Johns: A Retrospective
Hardcover: 408 pages
Publisher: The Museum of Modern Art, New York; First edition (March 1, 2006)
Amazon: Jasper Johns: A Retrospective
Jasper Johns's art unites mastery, mystery, simplicity, and contradiction. His methodical working process combines intense deliberation and experimentation, obsessive craft, cycles of revision and repetition, and decisive shifts of direction. Johns also frequently borrows images from other artists, which, ironically, only underscores the originality of his own vision. His work occupies a key position in the art of the second half of the twentieth century. Jasper Johns: A Retrospective is the most complete and authoritative resource on it available, containing 264 color plates illustrating his paintings, drawings, sculptures, and prints. Accompanying essays review his essential themes, analyze his references to other artists, and explore how his contemporaries have, in turn, seen and absorbed his own work. The plates are arranged to follow the stages of his career, allowing comparison of paintings, drawings, sculptures, and prints from each period, as his style developed and changed. That comprehensive selection of reproductions is interwoven with an illustrated chronology tracing Johns' life and work with unprecedented accuracy and thoroughness. With its scholarly essays and extensive bibliography, Jasper Johns: A Retrospective is the indispensable reference work on this crucial artist. This volume was originally published to accompany the major exhibition of Johns' work held at The Museum of Modern Art in 1996 and 1997, his first full retrospective in 20 years. It has been out of print since 2002.
Jasper Johns: An Allegory of Painting, 1955-1965 by Mr. Jeffrey Weiss
Hardcover: 296 pages
Publisher: Yale University Press (January 10, 2007)
Amazon: Jasper Johns: An Allegory of Painting, 1955-1965
Jasper Johns (b. 1930) is one of the most significant figures in the history of postwar art. His work from 1955 to 1965 was pivotal, exercising an enormous impact on the subsequent development of pop, minimalism, and conceptual art in the United States and Europe. This is the first publication to approach Johns’s work of this ten-year period through a thematic framework. It examines the artist's interest in the condition of painting as a medium, a practice, and an instrument of encoded meaning through several interrelated motifs: the target, the “device,” the naming of colors, and the imprint of the body.
In this handsome book, leading scholars, a conservator, and a contemporary artist consider Johns’s activity in this critical decade and discuss many of his iconic paintings, such as Target with Four Faces (1955), Diver (1962), Periscope (Hart Crane) (1963), and Arrive-Depart (1963). Their new critical and historical perspectives are grounded in an unusually close visual and material analysis of Johns's work
A Thing Among Things: The Art of Jasper Johns by John Yau
Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers; First Edition edition (December 1, 2008)
Amazon: A Thing Among Things: The Art of Jasper Johns
This beautifully illustrated and profoundly original volume of essays by the New York poet and critic John Yau mounts one of the most eloquent defenses of the art and vision of Jasper Johns ever written--going well past tired and traditional Formalist readings of the artist's work to propose a completely new way of reading them: One that is intensely human. Praised by renowned American art historian and critic Jack Flam as, "a brilliantly attentive and original reading of Jasper Johns' work," this volume not only makes many aspects of the artist's work accessible for the first time, but also reveals an emotional tenor to the man whom so many critics have characterized, wrongly, according to Yau, as aloof or hermetic.
Expanding upon the ideas he laid out in The United States of Jasper Johns, published in 1996 by Zoland Books, Yau traces the ways that the artist's work conveys a connection to the common experience--a "sense of life" that encompasses thoughts, memory, consumption, excretion, life, death, time and mortality. Yau's readings of the works are broadened by statements from conversations between the poet and artist that have taken place over the course of the last 30 years. Lending to this sense of intimacy, many of the works collected in this volume come directly from the artist's studio or his private collection, and have rarely been reproduced before. According to Flam, "John Yau focuses his attention on how the artist's pioneering paintings relate to life as it is lived--and on what they tell us about what it means to be mortal and alive in time. Along the way, Yau cuts a much-needed clearing through the tangle of narrowly self-reflexive interpretations that have plagued so much critical writing on Johns' work during the past half century--providing a fresh approach and opening our eyes to Johns' accomplishment in revealing ways. This is a groundbreaking book, written with both precision and passion. It should be read by everyone who cares about modern painting."
John Yau is a poet and critic. He is the author of several books, including The Passionate Spectator: Essays on Art and Poetry, Paradiso Diaspora and Borrowed Love Poems, as well as contributions to monographs and catalogues on Joan Mitchell, Jessica Stockholder, Wifredo Lam and Hiroshi Sugimoto. Since 2004, he has been the Arts Editor of the Brooklyn Rail. He has taught at the University of California, Berkeley, Yale University and the Maryland Institute College of Art, and is currently an Associate Professor of Critical Studies at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry in 2006-2007.
More Artists at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Art
More Real Life Romances at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Real Life Romance
This journal is friends only. This entry was originally posted at http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/1500454.html. If you are not friends on this journal, Please comment there using OpenID.