The magisterial sweep of Cy Twombly’s enigmatic mark-making in Untitled marked a radical shift in the artist’s unique painterly style. Part of the artist’s Bolsena suite of paintings, it marks a significant move away from the hypnotic gestures and tonal solemnity of his Blackboard paintings and unleashes a much more vibrant and animated form of artistic language. Painted in Italy in the summer of 1969, just as man was about to take his first steps on the surface of the moon, Untitled becomes a combination of the ancient and the modern; of the history and traditions of the artist’s beloved Italy joined with the technological advancements of the modern age. Twombly’s Bolsena paintings are considered to be among the artist’s most accomplished and are located in many of the world’s premier public and private art collections, including the Kunstmuseum Basel and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. These grand, epic paintings have long been recognized as being some of the most outstanding and seminal works in the artist’s oeuvre and works such as Untitled become a consummate example of what makes Twombly’s work truly unique.
Main image: Cy Twombly (1928-2011), Untitled. © 2015 Cy Twombly Foundation