Cy Twombly, R.I.P.


‘In his own particular way, Twombly tells us that the essence of writing is neither form nor usage but simply gesture – the gesture that produces it by allowing it to happen: a garble, almost a smudge, a negligence. We can reason this out through a comparison. What would be the essence of a pair of trousers (if it has one)? Certainly not that carefully prepared and rectilinear object found on the racks of department stores; rather the ball of cloth dropped on the floor by the negligent hand of a young boy when he undresses tired, lazy and indifferent. The essence of an object has something to do with the way it turns into trash. It is not necessarily what remains after the object has been used, it’s rather what is thrown away in use. And so it is with Twombly’s writings. They are the fragments of an indolence, and this makes them extremely elegant; it’s as though the only thing left after the strongly erotic act of writing were the languid fatigue of love: a garment cast aside into a corner of the page.”

Roland BarthesNon Multa Sed Multum 1976

(Quote found in Christie’s Print catalogue, for 31.3.10 Auction, King Street)

Also, there are a few choice quotes from the man himself in the NYT slideshow. Godspeed, sir.