In Memory of Cy Twombly

Cy Twombly was an artist I adored.  While some may look at his scribbled canvases and say “my kid could do that”, as a painter I know I could not.  Sometimes the most simple works are the most daunting in composition.  If that one little line was awry in such a way the whole piece would be “off”, yet they encompass a feeling of such wild freedom at the same time. Trying to do that is VERY HARD. I’ve trashed many a canvas attempting this style only to return to more constrained styles because it’s easier somehow. There are rules to follow and it’s easier to paint (and live sometimes) when we have a framework to go by.  Cy helped me to appreciate this kind of work and he was one of the great masters of this century… RIP Mr. Twombly.  I still hold dear the goal to one day own one of your works.

Lesser known works by Twombly are his photographs and collages- I absolutely LOVE them:

So wonderful to his work in scale:

And his pieces work in ANY style decor:


  1. I’m so sad to hear this news. :( his home was featured once in Elle Decor. Need to rummage through my old copies to find it. I absolutely adore his huge flower shaped paintings. You have them pictured above (purple, lavender and the rainbow colored ones along the corner)

  2. i was so devastated to hear this news. he’s an alum of the school i work for, so he is doubly admired around here. he was such a talent. what a loss. :(

  3. Really loved this post, Erin–what a magnificient artist, thank you for sharing him with me.

  4. Glad you posted this….he was amazing. And you are so right, some people may think ANYONE can do it, but it does take a certain type of skill …. :)))

  5. I’m fortunate to live in Houston where we have an amazing collection of his works. To see in person was a thrill and made me appreciate this magnificent artist!

  6. Erin, as I read through this post I found myself shouting, “YES” at my computer screen. :) Agreed on all counts here… I think what all Twombly admirers love most about his work and life (whether they see and understand the genius of simplicity or not), is the total audacity of originality, and the way that he steadfastly marched to the beat of his own creative drummer. And the ease with which one can live with his art is a testament to the relatability of context and execution. Great post, thank you! xx

  7. Couldn’t have said it better myself! I’ve been trying to explain to people for years why such seemingly simple works are sometimes the most amazing. Wonderful tribute to a wonderful artist–he will be greatly missed.

  8. I love him too, they have a great Cy Twombly exhibit in the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago. I took my kids to see it last year and we loved his paintings of peonies in beautiful fushia and gold, mint and white!

  9. His work is truly incredible. You describe it so well. Seeing some of those pieces in real life is such an experience, you can definitely feel his controlled chaos. Lovely photos.

  10. Amen. He lived a wonderful – and private life. Thank you for showing how well his work can work in real homes. I was lucky enough to see his show at the opening of the modern wing in 2009, and revered him for coming from a small town in Virginia to becoming one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. Thank you for the fantastic post/tribute.

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