To the editor:

Rosalind Krauss has to work awfully hard to turn Cy Twombly into a naughty schoolboy (“Cy’s Up,” September ’94). It’s one thing to take on an easy target like Heiner Bastian’s flowery prose, another to ignore the plain sense of the artist’s work. If Twombly writes “M/ars” on one of his paintings, why can’t she just let that “ars” mean what it So clearly says: “ars,” as in “ars longa.” Twombly could have written the “em in ”arse“ if he’d wanted to. But he didn’t. That’s Krauss’ own graffiti or ”deflationary gesture,“ her own ”retaliation against the . . . drone" of Twombly’s listlessly invoked tag-ends of classical culture. It’s easy to sympathize with Krauss, but she should have restrained the impulse. There’s more and better to Twombly than that.

Barry Schwabsky

Brooklyn, N.Y.

Rosalind E. Krauss replies:

The schoolboy image is not mine, but Roland Barthes’. If I find it

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