• Post-War & Contemporary Evenin auction at Christies

    Sale 2219

    Post-War & Contemporary Evening Sale

    10 November 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 20

    Cy Twombly (b. 1928)


    Price Realised  


    Cy Twombly (b. 1928)
    signed and dated 'Cy Twombly 1959-61' (center)
    graphite, colored pencil, ball point pen and wax crayon on paper
    27½ x 39 1/8 in. (69.8 x 99.3 cm.)
    Executed in 1959-1961.

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    This work will be included in the Catalogue Raisonné Cy Twombly--Works on Paper being edited by Nicola Del Roscio.

    Untitled is part of a collection of works being offered for sale from the Estate of Bill Bass. Christie's is delighted to offer these outstanding examples by Josef Albers, Roy Lichtenstein, Tom Wesselmann and Andy Warhol, most of which have not been on the market since they were originally purchased decades ago. Mr. Bass, a passionate collector from Chicago purchased the works from the artists' primary galleries, or the artists themselves, often collecting their work in depth.
    Twombly moved to Italy from his native America in 1957 and, given fresh inspiration by his new surroundings, he experienced a burst of creative energy from the early 1960s onwards. Untitled is a dense, fully executed example from that crucial period, its free flowing lines and bursts of color expressively demonstrating his mastering of the medium.
    The work skillfully combines the classical inspiration Twombly drew from his new locale and in addition to the artist's characteristic energetic application of line are bursts of color that come straight from the Italian landscape which so captured his imagination. Areas of terracotta lie next to flashes of electric blue as if taken directly from the from the hot Mediterranean sky and together these are mixed with erotic, flesh colored figures to give a true sense of la dolce vita which so characterized this period of the artist's work.


    The Estate of Bill Bass, Chicago
    By descent to the present owner

    Pre-Lot Text

    Property from the Estate of Bill Bass, Chicago