Cy Twombly: The Sculpture
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Introduction

Twombly, Untitled, Gaeta 1993spacer This exhibition, on view from 6 May to 29 July 2001 at the National Gallery of Art (West Building), presents fifty-eight examples of Cy Twombly's sculpture, works that range in date from 1946 to the present. Composed primarily of rough elements of wood coated in plaster and white paint, or cast in bronze, these sculptures are fundamentally abstract, yet harbor complex meanings. Through poetic inscription or association the works often allude to mythological subjects or to artifacts of the ancient past: temples, chariots, altars, reliquaries, and ruins.

Cy Twombly was born in Lexington, Virginia, in 1928. While he is best known for profoundly original paintings and drawings, he began to make sculpture at a young age. The earliest works in this exhibition demonstrate his prodigious talent and interest in modern European art, particularly the dada and surrealist movements as embodied by Kurt Schwitters, Hans Arp, and Alberto Giacometti. These artists emphasized the intuitive and irrational, as is reflected in their assemblages of disparate and anti-aesthetic materials, collages arranged by chance, and abstract organic forms.

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