Sotheby's /Nov 13, 2013
€481,695.57 - €629,909.59
Artworks in Arcadja644
Some works of Cy TwomblyExtracted between 644 works in the catalog of Arcadja
Auction: Sotheby's -Dec 3, 2013 - ParisLot number: 14
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Cette oeuvre est enregistrée sous le numéro 21-67 des archives de la Cy Twombly Foundation, New York. Provenance Gilbert Brownstone Gallery, Paris Acquis auprès de celle-ci par le propriétaire actuel 14 Cy Twombly 1928-2011 SANS TITRE PENCIL ON CARDBOARD. EXECUTED IN 1967. crayon sur carton 67,5 x 86,5 cm; 26 9/16 x 34 in. Exécuté en 1967. Estimate 200,000 - 300,000 EUR Print Please notify me when the condition report is available
Auction: Sotheby's -Nov 14, 2013 - New YorkLot number: 181
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Galleria La Tartaruga, Rome Harold Diamond, New York (acquired by 1977) Acquavella Contemporary Art, New York The Lone Star Foundation, Inc., New York (acquired from the above in January 1978) Acquired by the present owner from the above in August 1980 181 WORKS FROM DIA ART FOUNDATION, SOLD TO ESTABLISH A FUND FOR ACQUISITIONS Cy Twombly 1928 - 2011 UNTITLED signed, dated Ischia Aug 1960 and inscribed Where is the Poet? pencil, wax crayon and ballpoint pen on paper 19 1/2 by 27 1/2 in. 49.5 by 69.9 cm. Estimate 250,000 - 350,000 USD Print This work is in very good condition overall. There is evidence of light handling to the edges, and the bottom left corner of the sheet has minor creases. There are scattered graphite smudges that appear to be by the artist's hand and inherent to the artist's working method. The sheet is hinged verso to the matte, intermittently along the top and side edges. Framed under Plexiglas. *Please note the auction begins at 9:30 am on November 14th.*
Auction: Christie's -Nov 13, 2013 - New YorkLot number: 171
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Cy Twombly (1928-2011) Untitled oil-base housepaint, graphite and colored wax crayon on paper 33½ x 27½ in. (85 x 69.8 cm.) Painted in 1971. Folker Skulima Galerie, Berlin Acquired from the above by the present owner, 1972 This work will be included in the forthcoming Catalogue Raisonné of Cy Twombly Drawings being prepared by Nicola Del Roscio. "All I know is that painting is useful and important, like music and art in general - that painting is an indispensable necessity of life." (Interview with Doris von Drathen, 1992 in Gerhard Richter: The Daily Practice of Painting, Writings and Interviews 1962-1993, edited by Hans-Ulrich Obrist. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1995.) Throughout his career, with his ever-changing experimentation with different styles, Richter proved his own dictum to be true over and over again. His Abstraktes Bild of 1995, with its subtle and hypnotic palette and complex layering, is a beautiful, contemplative testament to this. The interplay of color, shape and facture, the essential elements of his abstract works, are on brilliant display here. The palette of Abstraktes Bild of 1995 offers the viewer myriad pleasures in its teasing complexity. Here, as in many of his later abstract paintings "moments of landscape and atmosphere are depicted in an almost illusionistic way," writes Julie Heynen. (Julie Heynen, ed. Gerhard Richter: Bilder 1999. Krefeld: Kaiser Wilhelm Museum, 2000). After the first glance, the black and white rectangular area on the left side of the canvas begins to shimmer with the just a whisper of lavender suggesting a sunrise flickering through snowy woods. These cool, crisp hues of black and white and lavender are juxtaposed against the autumnal tones that, while dominating the physical space of the canvas, perfectly balance the composition, creating harmony out of dissonance. Amidst the array of brown tones of the top layer of subdued gray, black, and chocolate browns, are underlying patches of amber and deep burnt orange, recalling a wooded landscape as the vibrant colors of autumn yield to the stark tones of winter. But this is Richter, so there is more. Glimpses of a gorgeous shade of teal infuse the canvas with an understated verdancy. "The starting point is simple, and seems almost limited," describes Mette Marcus. "A very small number of colors are drawn out in horizontals and verticals. The result is overwhelming and boundless." (Mette Marcus. "The Space of Abstraction" in Gerhard Richter - Image After Image. Michael Juul Holm, Anders Kold, Mette Marcus and Poul Erik Tejner, eds. Humlebaek, Denmark: Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2005, 49). The color effects at play here are achieved through Richter's remarkable paint handling. The assertive hand of the artist is subsumed in the deceptively smooth surface, obscuring where the labor ends and the mystery of art begins. Using tools beyond the paintbrush such as spatulas and squeegees, he applies layers of paint, scrapes away and layers again, employing a controlled spontaneity. This produces, Heynen says: "the paradox of a scenario which does not exist - except for on the canvas in front of one's eyes. Neither as a whole nor in its details does the scenario depict a piece of reality. Yet it works because it looks like reality." (Heynen) The act of building up paint and scraping it down mimics the creation and destruction of the cycles of nature. An alchemist of artistic magic, Richter, in this tranquil work, has revealed the drama of nature as one season gives way to another, although this may or may not have been the artist's point at all given that in the abstract work that he embarked on in 1976 he pursued an attitude in which intention played not part. Richter once said that believing in pictures is like believing in God and even more so for abstract work. He told Doris von Drathen in the 1992 interview, "in abstract paintingsthere's not much to see. Here faith plays a bigger part." (Obrist, 232). Paradox and contradiction have been the unifying themes of Richter's spectacular career that has defied categorization and challenged both critics and art historians. In Abstraktes Bild, 1995, the enigma of his genius is clear. While the artist himself claims, "there's not much to see," the opposite is true: there is everything to see in this elusive painting.
Auction: Sotheby's -Nov 13, 2013 - New YorkLot number: 18
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Galleria Sperone, Rome The Lone Star Foundation, Inc., New York (acquired from the above in July 1977) Acquired by the present owner from the above in August 1980 Rome, Galleria Sperone, Cy Twombly, November – December 1976 Houston, The Menil Collection; Des Moines, Des Moines Art Center, Cy Twombly, September 1989 – June 1990, cat. no. 25, n.p., illustrated in color 18 WORKS FROM DIA ART FOUNDATION, SOLD TO ESTABLISH A FUND FOR ACQUISITIONS Cy Twombly 1928 - 2011 UNTITLED signed with initials and dated 76 on the right sheet collage, oil and wax crayon, pencil and tape on paper, in two parts left: 59 7/8 x 52 3/8 in. right: 32 1/4 x 24 3/8 in. left: 152 x 133 cm. right: 82 x 62 cm. Estimate 650,000 - 850,000 USD Print This lot, consisting of two framed works on paper, is in excellent condition. Both sheets are mounted at intervals to ragboard. The large sheet is framed in a dark brown wood frame under Plexiglas, and the smaller sheet is framed in a lighter brown wood frame under Plexiglas. There are very light handling marks to the edges and some minor undulation in a few places to the sheets, consistent with the nature of the medium and the artist's working process. The larger sheet exhibits overall rippling and puckering throughout primarily associated with the application of acrylic recto and verso. There is a small loss to the paper at the lower left corner from tacking at the time of execution. The 30 x 22" sheet of the secondary drawing is attached to the larger sheet with clear adhesive tape at all corners and at the center of the top, left and right edges. There are scattered oil stains from the artist's studio to the left, right, and below the secondary drawing. Approximately five scattered nodules of paint have flattened slightly due to contact with the Plexiglas, and resulting in paint residue adhered to the Plexiglas. These are located in the impasto in the upper half of the large sheet. The smaller sheet consists of two sheets of paper taped together with clear adhesive tape at intervals along the top and left edges. The full sheet has a horizontal crease mid-center from a previous fold, and has a large cut-out rectangle space in the upper half. The edge of the cut-out is surrounded by various scattered soft creases and a 1 ½" tear extending up from the upper left corner, all dating from the time of execution.
Auction: Christie's -Nov 12, 2013 - New YorkLot number: 38
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Lot Description Cy Twombly (1928-2011) Untitled signed, inscribed and dated 'Cy Twombly St Angelo 1960' (center) oil, graphite, colored pencil, wax crayon and ballpoint pen on paper 19 5/8 x 27½ in. (49.8 x 68.9 cm.) Executed in 1960. Provenance Galleria Della Tartaruga, Rome Private collection, Italy Sperone Westwater, New York Acquired from the above by the present owner, 1999 Pre-Lot Text Property of an Important American Collector Literature N. Del Roscio, Cy Twombly Drawings, Catalogue Raisonné Volume 2, 1956-1960, p. 240, no. 200 (illustrated in color). View Lot Notes > Within a proliferation of apparently random graphite marks, a sudden red scrawl--nested on blobs of white gouache--floats within a large irregularly drawn rectangle and seems to beckon the eye as both a point of focus and one of departure beyond these bounded forms. As the eye wanders through a landscape of discrete events, a group of smaller swirls--punctuated by purple--comes into view, beside and under which erratically extended lines appear, almost rivulets that lead the eye up toward the right and downward to merge with or branch out diagonally toward the lower edge. Other color events, such as the purple horizontal scratching above the upper border of the rectangle, lead to further cloudlike formations daubed in light orange, which echo in various repetitions over the sheet. Darker marks, generally horizontal, are enclosed in additional various four-sided forms, and the odd triangle--often for Twombly's work considered a schematic motif--is further articulated by a contrasting procreation of leaf shapes, also shaded by thickened scrawls. The notion that a single form or mark begets others until a field is filled with incident describes in part the generating force of Twombly's art, so forcibly in evidence in Untitled, 1960. As draughtsman's markings come from the same impulse as signage, the word or phrase that is unexpectedly distinguished allows one to discover an anchor in this vast sea of signs. Untitled carries several such signs. The most telling in terms of visual ballast is in the upper right hand corner and is a quotation-- or misquotation --from an ode to the mortal-made-goddess, Psyche, by the Romantic poet John Keats. Because Twombly offers so much on the one hand in this drawing and so little in terms of coherence on the other, it is tempting to read into a work like this extraordinary drawing meanings culled from such a "clue." The quotation is as follows: "Blue, silver-white, + Tyrian," an elliptic version of the more complete phrase, "Blue, silver-white, and budded Tyrian." Even in its completed form, however, the phrase, taken out of its context, floats upward as one among many marks. Aside from Twombly's signature below the rectangle, one other word, "Dawn," surfaces amidst the roiling streaks of graphite. "Dawn" can be found in line twenty of the poem, used by Keats to elaborate his notion of a scene of lovers at dawn: "At tender eye-dawn of aurorean love." As the "Ode to Psyche" is an address to a loved one recounting the history of the meeting, courtship and marriage between Cupid and Psyche, and the latter's elevation to the region of the gods, a return to the framed red marks undergirded by white thickened formations may easily be taken as an illustration of the poem's narrative thread. There is much to support such a reading--and much to discourage it. Without doubt, the word Tyrian denotes the purple color of royalty, an acknowledgment by Keats--and Twombly--of Pyche's ultimate elevation; there are flower forms and rivulets; boats and hearts; erect phallic forms and scrotums and hearts thrusting into the frame from the left-edge and right; and leaves and clouds wafting over the full painterly field. It would be gratifying to interpret the central frame as Psyche and Cupid in an act of love supported by clouds. Indeed, Twombly follows this series of drawings with another seeming "illustration," Leda and the Swan, 1962, in which Jupiter in the guise of a swan ravishes Leda amid a burst of red coloration and violent graphite markings. But there are also marks that seem incomprehensible relative to the poem's underlying narrative: the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 surrounding the "figured" lovers like shifting coordinates or a disordered clock; or the graphing of numbers 1 - 5 at the lower left edge; the circular, almost humanoid biomorphic shapes; or the two blackened boxes at the upper edge. And the word "Dawn." Although it makes sense relative to Keats' imagery, "Dawn" also appears in other drawings from this series, at times with the statement in parenthesis (See Naples + Die). This verbal motif is treated in several drawings made during Twombly's stay on Ischia, along with him mixing in other phrases from Keats poetry, such as "The Human Seasons," where Twombly writes out two lines from the poem under a rainbow-like arch in violet and purple colored pencil. Above, the artist has written "Ode to Psyche," under which is crossed out the word "SONNET." Finally, the series also conveys a juxtaposition of poets-- Mallarmé with Keats, for example. In effect, then, mixing, cross-referencing, encrypting, eliding, baffling and withholding meaning is very much at play in this and much of Twombly's oeuvre. Untitled is a remarkable palimpsest of the many-layered stages in the evolution to Twombly's style. From his early days in military service, drawing in the dark during breaks from lessons in cryptology, to his later responses to the art brut style of Jean Dubuffet, Twombly sought to remove himself from his innate drawing talent and acquire artistic skill. Like Willem de Kooning's production of what are termed "Blind Drawings"--drawings the elder artist made with eyes closed or while watching television--Twombly strove to teach himself to "de-skill," to in effect eradicate the "habits of history [by] disconnecting his hand from his eye" (J. Lawrence, "Cy Twombly's Cryptic Nature," in Cy Twombly: Works from the Sonnabend Collection, London and New York, p. 13). The point of this exercise in Twombly's case was to create distance from intention, to return in a visceral sense to the act of making marks on paper and canvas for their own sake, as chance procedures informed by what immediately came to hand, catalyzed by whatever may have come to mind. That is to say, Twombly sought to take an ironical view of Abstract Expressionist "action painting" and the notion taken from Pollock's practice of "all-over" painting, by removing the intention behind the act, the subjectivity as well as the transcendent statement (C. Vivaldi, "Cy Twombly tra ironia e lirismo," in La Tartaruga, Quaderno edito, Galleria Taratuga, February 1961, n.p.). So "action" in these terms becomes intuitive. Twombly's marks are about tactility, about an urge toward the feel of a marking instrument responding to and expressing physiological and psychic impulses: "It's instinctive in a certain kind of painting, not as if you were painting an object or special things, but it's like coming through the nervous system. It's like a nervous system. It's not described, it's happening (C. Twombly in an interview with D. Sylvester, Interviews with American Artists New Haven and London, 2001, p. 179). Untitled is an extraordinarily significant realization of Twombly's desire to defeat tradition even as he engaged with it. After all, immersing himself in ancient Greek and Roman literature--here, by treating the tale of Cupid and Psyche by the Roman writer Lucius Apulcius (ca. 124 - 173 CE) in its nineteenth century English realization by John Keats--is a strong statement about the breadth of the artist's cultural immersion in evidence in the present work, stimulated often not only by what he was reading at the time from the vast range of literature, but also by his surroundings. After a peripatetic period in the late 1950s spent traveling and working in New York City; Lexington, Kentucky; Cuba; Mexico; and Rome, Twombly finally settled in Italy in 1960, taking the month of July on the Isle of Ischia in Sant'Angelo, where Untitled, 1960, was created. It belongs to a series of drawings that were executed in the ancient fishing village situated at the foot of the city of Fontana Serrara overlooking the Mediterranean. Twombly's marks, while seemingly random, both cohere and scatter: the compositional "groupings," seem to veer upwards and to the right, but to say this is an a priori concept rather than simply a gravitational or kinetic tendency would be to say too much. Equally, the discrete forms and language do not coalesce into a legible whole. Repetitions do not create patterns, but rather disperse or refuse meaning. And while the ode may have "jump-started" Twombly's excavations, giving "it a clarity of energy," they do not create determinacy either of execution or meaning (Cy Twombly interviewed by Nicholas Serota, "History Behind the Thought," in Cy Twombly: Cycles and Seasons, exh. cat., London, 2008, p. 50). We simply do not know. And therein lies its marvelous beauty, the delight and irony, the source of our unwavering interest, curiosity and gratification in the present work: our delight and absorption in the act of looking are forever renewed in "the lines of his making," which "do [...] not illustrate- [but rather create] the sensation of its own realization"-- and ours (C. Twombly, statement in "Documenti di una nuova figurazione," L'Esperienza Moderna no. 2 (August-September 1957, p. 32).