Cy Twombly at the Whitney

Peter Schjeldahl writes in The New Yorker:

Cy Twombly was twenty-five years old in 1953, when, at the borrowed studio of Robert Rauschenberg, on Fulton Street, he made some of the inauspicious-looking monoprints and pencil drawings that open “Cy Twombly: Fifty Years of Works on Paper,” an absorbing, uneven show at the Whitney. These are loose, gawky glyphs of spiky, unidentifiable flora or fauna. Their manner suggests both the guilelessness of small children and the insolence of graffitists, but a lurking sophistication points to certain modern predecessors, mostly European, from Alfred Jarry to Alberto Giacometti, Jean Dubuffet, and Wols…

A bohemian aristocrat, the young Twombly might have been a model for a character in a novel by E. M. Forster or Somerset Maugham—a kind that was no longer being written. Today, at the age of seventy-six, he remains a slippery figure, not quite of our time yet not of any other. He is also a major and growing success, enshrined in museums, and a sensational performer at auction, commanding prices in the millions—“the biggest long shot of our era,” in the words of a friend, the late composer Morton Feldman.

More here.