“Two Different Paths into the Distance”

Cy Twombly Drawing

A page from one of Twombly’s North African sketchbooks, a kind of first draft of the artist’s later painting career. Credit Cy Twombly, “Untitled (North African Sketchbook),” 1953, private collection, N.Y., © Cy Twombly Foundation.

Challenged to create work that could travel back to the States, Twombly created a series of wall hangings made from brightly colored fabrics. None of these works survive today, but in pictures of them, it is clear how Twombly is attempting to bring the drawings in his sketchbook to life on the wall. Rauschenberg’s work is messier, more chaotic, his “Scatole Personali” the detritus of a mind in the midst of thought, cluttered with photographs and arranged found objects from ram’s horns to pebbles. Later, in his career-defining “Combines,” which he began constructing in 1954, Rauschenberg would return to this kind of chaos; his works from his time with Twombly are a kind of disheveled, vibrant first draft.

(Tom Delavan, “How an Eight-Month Trip Shifted the Course of Art History,” NYTimes, 10-21-18)

(c) 2018 JMN.

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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