New York

Cy Twombly

Gagosian Gallery

CY TWOMBLY'S Coronation of Sesostris, 2000, looks like ten paintings—a suite, perhaps, like The Four Seasons, 1993-94, which formed the coda to the artist's MoMA retrospective seven years ago—but he calls it a painting in ten parts. And aptly so: Each panel might not hold up as an individual, self-contained work, but the whole succeeds brilliantly, its throwaway eloquence burning as brightly in the breaks between canvases as in the constituent parts themselves. It may not be entirely accidental, though, that the widths of the ten panels add up to not much more than the fifty-two feet of An Untitled Painting, 1994, the last monumentally scaled work Twombly showed in New York. That huge, scroll-like painting (on three abutted canvases) felt strangely unbalanced, as though the artist, having refused to give in to any conventional sense of composition, had found no other means to

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