Favorite Contemporary Artists: A Series

One of my favorite contemporary artists is the master of whimsical color palettes, Cy Twombly. He embodies abstraction at its finest through the fusion of muted, soft tones and can instantly teleport you to distant Mediterranean landscapes. “Sit down, absorb the structured chaos, and let the daydreaming begin,” is basically what his artwork will say to you.

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Cy Twombly at home in Rome, by Horst P. Horst (1966)

Twombly, an American painter, sculptor, and photographer, was born in Lexington, Virginia on April 25th, 1928, before he would set out into a life of adventure abroad. He was a notable member of the Abstract Expressionism movement, a term that gained momentum in New York after WWII. Influenced by ancient mythology, literature, and history, his heart became enraptured by Rome, which is where he lived for most of his life and derived inspiration for his work.

Rather than conveying a literal representation of an event or individual, Twombly utilizes controversial child-like scribbles to stir emotions. Pools and thin streams of color are skillfully drenched onto the canvas in different mediums. His paintings are metaphorical enigmas whose meaning can only be progressively revealed through careful scrutiny and personal attribution. An example of scattered symbolism and the juxtaposition of color is seen in Apollo and the Artist: laurel leaves which correspond to the wreath Apollo wears, clef symbols that denote he is the god of music, and a neutral background contrasted with blue letters.

 Jacqueline Sanchez ’20

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