Cy Twombly

Sad news arrived this morning (to me via email links from my wife) that Cy Twombly had passed away.  Less than a month ago I wrote a proposal for an article on Cy Twombly and Sally Mann and their shared Lexington, VA roots.  What are the odds that two major post-War artists would be from Lexington and still live there today (most of the time)?  I wanted to weave Frank Hunter into the story:  A little known fact, Twombly was the world’s leading collector of Frank’s large platinum palladium prints.  Over the years Frank and Cy regularly met for lunch in Lexington, including just a few weeks ago.  I always wanted to tag along on one of those lunches.  But Frank, respecting Cy’s reclusive nature, shied away, and I respected that a great deal.  Once, I gave Frank one of my books of Cy’s work and Frank had him sign it.  Cy signed it in black ink very large “To Sam” and a swoosh from the end of the ‘m’ went off the page.  Then he added a large “Cy.”

The only good thing to come out of news of Twombly’s death is that I learned he had a show of new work last year in tribute to Tennessee Williams and specifically the play “Camino Real,” which I wrote about for Paris Review recently.  You can read about that show at the Gagosian site.  I bet Twombly attended the 1953 premier run of “Camino Real” directed by Elia Kazan.  I would have liked to have chatted with him about it, or had Frank ask him about it.


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