Aggressively elegant, viscerally beautiful, Cy Twombly's work is, in the words of exhibition curator and contributing writer Julie Sylvester, "fundamentally subjective, truthful, and uncompromising." His work finds its most personal expression in his intimately sized drawings and paintings on paper. Finding inspiration as much in the forces of nature as in ancient epics and legends, and using the simplest of media--pencils, ballpoint pens, crayons, wall paint--he creates poetic and archaic worlds, usually in series and often as collages. The 84 drawings in this retrospective, organized by the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, in 2003 to mark Twombly's 75th birthday, were collected from the artist's studio, and many had not been previously exhibited. Dating between 1953 and 2002, the works embrace the entire career of one of the most important American artists alive today, from the early monotypes to the major mythological cycles of later years, revealing the many nuances of his aesthetic approach. This revised and expanded edition of the catalogue, created on the occasion of the presentation of Cy Twombly: Fifty Years of Works on Paper at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, includes an essay by Simon Schama, as well as a new text by curator Julie Sylvester. Roland Barthes's classic 1976 essay Non Multa Sed Multum: and a foreword by the Whitney's director, Adam D. Weinberg. Comprehensive biographical notes and a selected exhibition history and bibliography have also been added to this edition.
Julie Sylvester is Associate Curator of Contemporary Art of the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, and is the Hermitage's first non-Russian curator. She is the author of John Chamberlain A Catalogue Raisonne of the Sculpture. Cy Twombly at the Hermitage was the second major contemporary exhibition in the history of the State Hermitage Museum.
British historian Simon Schama has written numerous award-winning books on the cultural histories of countries including Holland and France, and is the author of the three-volume History of Britain. He is currently a professor at Columbia University, New York.