Philadelphia

Cy Twombly

Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania

At the ICA in Philadelphia, Cy Twombly showed paintings, drawings, and constructions from 1951–1974. One problem with the criticism of his work is that it tends to be poetically effusive and not to the point. (Heiner Bastian’s Parnassian evocation in the catalogue is particularly impertinent.) On the other hand, more iconographically minded writers, myself included, tend to convey the impression that Twombly is little more than a fashionable eclectic—which he is not. Thus this review, which I regard as a postscript to the iconographic issues addressed in my article on Twombly in the April, 1974, Artforum, is spurred by direct and urgent responses to the sheerly beautiful passages in Twombly’s painting. The following connections then should be considered with my enthusiasm in mind—not just niggling detail.

The oddest bibliographic curiosity, in hindsight, is the review by Don Judd in Arts,

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