Video of the Week... Cy Twombly, 'The Grandfather of Graffiti'


He was a contemporary of collectibles market stars Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, yet the American abstract expressionist painter Cy Twombly (1928-2011) remains less of a 'household name'.

But this fact will surely change following Twombly's death yesterday (July 5) aged 83.

Perhaps it was because Twombly moved to Rome in his early career, making his works less accessible by US collectors.  

Today, his works draw comparisons to 20th century abstract artists like Jackson Pollock - albeit using a more minimalist approach, often with chalk and visible spaces of white canvas.

So admired are his works that one over-excited fan lay a bright red lipstick kiss on one of Twombly's paintings during an exhibition.


Underrated: a circa late 1960s painting by the abstract painter Cy Twombly

Elsewhere, he's even been described the "Grandfather of Graffiti" thanks to his works which explore the space between drawings and paintings like nothing else.

One thing's for sure, collectors will now be eager to preserve Twombly's legacy. Expect to see increased appearances - and values - for the painter's works in coming months and weeks.

With this in mind, our Video of the Week gives you a chance to explore Twombly's works for yourself as Tate Modern director Nicholas Serota shows you around the gallery's 2008 exhibition.


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