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.