Cy Twombly’s “Bacchanalia-Fall (5 Days in November)” (1977) (via Guardian)

A great artist died today. Cy Twombly was a celebrated American painter know for his “scribbly” calligraphic style that many described as lyrical. [AFP]

Here is the artist’s obituary in Le Monde (in French) and a link to the artist’s official website.

The artist currently has a show at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, Twombly & Poussin: Arcadian Painters. Here are some British reviews of the exhibition:

Cy Twombly in Fulton Street Studio, New York by Robert Rauschenberg (1954) (photo via

Update: The New York Times’ brief obituary (in English) is here: Cy Twombly, Idiosyncratic Painter, Dies at 83.

Update: Larry Gagosian of Gagosian Gallery, which represented Twombly, released the following statement today: “The art world has lost a true genius and a completely original talent, and for those fortunate enough to have known him, a great human being. We will not soon see a talent of such amazing scope and intensity. Even though Cy might have been regarded as reclusive, he didn’t retreat to an ivory tower. He was happy to remain connected and live in the present. Despite his increasing fame, he never lost the playfulness and sense of humor that was his true nature and, more importantly, he retained his humility. For me personally, it is an incredibly sad day and my thoughts are with Cy’s family and close friends.” Watch a video about Twombly’s 2007 exhibition “Blooming: A Scattering of Blossoms and Other Things” at the Gagosian Gallery here.

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Hrag Vartanian

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic. You can follow him at @hragv.

8 replies on “Cy Twombly Dead at 83”

  1. Sorry to hear this. For a long time I didn’t “get” his art, but after seeing some of it in person, I think I understand it better.

  2. his death makes me think a lot about how we currently valuate art. do we tend to value art with high production values as better or more accomplished? how much do these production values have to do with talent and how much to do with financial means? do we value technical proficiency above other elements of expression? how important is skill? more so than gesture? process? does an artist have to be skilled to be good?

  3. does anybody know why with the commenting on this site that it will say 3 coments up above, but when i get down to the comments it’s only 2 showing? sometimes it might say 45 comments but i’ll only see 9. seems like i might be missing folks’ thoughts that could be interesting.

    1. Hi Joseph,

      You’re not missing any comments. 

      But we are having an issue with our theme/wordpress that is causing some comments to be duplicated in our database. That in turn provides an incorrect count in the byline even though only one copy of the comment is shown on the site.

      We are actively looking into it to try and resolve it asap.


  4. Just learned that when photographer Sally Mann was a child–Twombly was a good friend of the family.

  5. Very sad to hear this.
    I hope he had some sense of accomplishment about his work, in his own mind, before he left.

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