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Cy Twombly: A Monograph by Richard Leeman
  • Author: Richard Leeman
  • Title: Cy Twombly: A Monograph
  • Size PDF ver: 1265 kb
  • Size ePUB ver: 1476 kb
  • Size Fb2 ver: 1505 kb
  • ISBN: 0500093253
  • ISBN13: 978-0500093252
  • Pages: 324
  • Other formats: docx doc azw mobi
  • Category: Arts & Photography
  • Subcat: History and Criticism
  • Language: English
  • Rating: 4.8 of 5
  • Votes: 567
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson Ltd (June 6, 2005)
  • Hardcover: Here
Cy Twombly: A Monograph
Cy Twombly (b. 1928) is widely considered to be one of the greatest living American artists, and he has received much admiration and international critical praise throughout his fifty-year career. Yet his work defies easy categorization. Subverting traditional distinctions between painting and drawing, brush and pencil-work, written words and images, he has made a highly individual contribution to the history of twentieth-century art. This book interprets Twombly's huge and complex body of work through a close study of his pictures, following both a thematic and chronological progression from the late 1950s to the most recent work. It demonstrates that the signs found in Twomblys paintings pictograms, numbers, words, colours which at first sight form an eclectic and multifaceted whole, are in fact organized into a true language whose often archaic forms are combined on canvas with allusive fragments of an enormous cultural world. From a scrawl to a drawing or a word, Twomblys work is an articulation of the language of memory and desire, from a place in which painting, drawing and writing are one single thing.

Reviews num: (7)

Ok I've seen Twombly works all over the world and am drawn to them, but I don't know why.

I bought this book hoping to learn why, to read a monograph about his works.


The reproductions are many and they are high, quality and for that alone I award this 5 stars.

But the text is virtually unreadable. The author obviously understands much and is a very learned man, but he is incapable of communicating effectively. I'm a fairly well educated guy (Vanderbilt and Stanford) and am a lawyer by training, and am a reader. But this text is so frustratingly dense and filled with allusions that it's virtually incomprehensible. I've read many of the sentences time and time again, have read them out loud to my wife, and I still have no idea what they mean.

If you are considering this to learn more about Twombly's work, looking for a guide so to speak, skip it.

However, if you want a collection of his work throughout his career, you may not be able to do better.

What an uneven work.
This is the best book on this major contemporary artist and belongs in the library of anyone at all interested in his work. Truly exceptional illustrations of many works in large format, with over 300 plates, virtually all in full color (!) including fold out pages showing close-ups of some of his paintings, allowing one to see individual brush strokes, pencil marks, etc. The reproductions extend to the edge of the page in many instances; the detail shots are particularly rewarding.

When this first came out, it seemed fully priced at $75 after Amazon's discount. In retrospect, it was a bargain and if you can get one of those copies offered at $100 now, new in hardcover, this reviewer would suggest you consider its purchase. The French edition is currently offered at $500 and more. Books on Cy Twombly wind up selling at high prices, as O.D.Jones pointed out in his review. I suspect this is a book like the Guggenheim's tomes on Roy Lichtenstein, Ellsworth Kelly and David Smith that not long after going out of print (and being recognized as the best book on a major artist) wind up selling at large premiums to their original price.

This is not a book which is bought for the text, which yields space to allow more illustrations. Good idea. You can read the Varnedoe book if you want insight and in depth analysis; he's one curator/critic who actually made sense when he wrote and is sorely missed for that reason. Buy this book principally for the aesthetic delight of looking at the work.
O.K. you probably love Twombly or hate him. If you love him this book has many nice reproductions. It is big and thick. and will feed your adiction nicely. If you hate him or don't really know his work DON"T BUY THIS BOOK!

For the converted only.
Basically, works on Twombly seem to come and go out of print, and become rather pricey collectors items quickly. This book contains an excellent selection of reproductions, including foldouts, of all phases of his career. The only thing that prevents this from being a five star book is the rather pedestrian (although well researched) text, in the usual obfuscating artspeak that passes for deep insight today. The out of print Varnadoe book from the major restropective of the 90's has a far more lucid outline of the works in question...but, really, you're probably buying the book for the reproductions anyway, and there are plenty of them, including some nice full page close up details of the often massive works. Not an inexpensive book, but well worth it for anyone interested in this "painter's painter" works.
Swift Summer
Great at any price
Cy Twombly: A Monograph is
a stunning exciting presentation of a still very fresh stunning and exciting artist.
I keep discovering new and wonderful aspects to Twombly's work every time I look through
this publication. Buy one while they're still around. (as well as Cy Twombly Fifty years of work On Paper").
One of those must own art books.
A very excellent book if you like Cy Twombly's work.

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