new-york

Cy Twombly, Untitled (Camino Real), 2011, acrylic on plywood, 99 3/8 x 72 7/8".

Cy Twombly

Gagosian | 522 West 21st Street

Cy Twombly, Untitled (Camino Real), 2011, acrylic on plywood, 99 3/8 x 72 7/8".

Despite the temptation, I cannot easily say of the eight great untitled paintings in this show—looping ovals of glowing orange, yellow, and red upon bright apple-green fields that were made shortly before the artist’s death in July 2011 at the age of eighty-three—that they represent a life summation. That term, so readily at hand at this valedictorian moment, suggests knowledge of where Twombly was going as well as of from where he was coming. Yet such hyper-privileged information is nowhere to be found; no more greatly revered a contemporary master has blown more dust into the eye of both critic and historian than this reticent southerner—for all the glamorous array of authors whose names emblazon the many serious studies of Twombly’s work and the by-now five volumes of his catalogue raisonné. There is no infantile trauma, no Rosebud—such as we know of—that

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