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Cy Twombly

1928-2011

Recipient of the Golden Lion in the Venice Biennale of 2001, Cy Twombly (born Edwin Parker and then renamed ‘Cy’ by his father, an athletics teacher and avid fan of Cyclone Young, a celebrated baseball pitcher of the late nineteenth century). Although he can be included in Abstract Expressionism, his legacy remains rather singular and unclassifiable. When he was 14, he was trained in drawing by Pierre Dura and along with his spiritual father, Nicholas Poussin, they reinvented classical antiquity. In his early years, he was influenced by Kurt Schwitters’ Dadaism and Chaim Soutine’s Expressionism, while he also followed the work of Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko. His close friendship with Robert Rauschenberg defined his artistic career.