Friday, July 8, 2011

What's In A Name? or Cy (sigh.)

It is a day for remembering the epic.
On Tuesday, one of my favorite modern painters passed away.
Cy Twombly, the man who made epic tales into epic paintings.
Fifty Days at Ilium: The Shield of Achilles
Cy Twombly, 1978
Philadelphia Museum of Art

It is only appropriate that the work of Michelangelo shows clear, human, relatable figures but with an artistry and grace that seems touched by angels. Michael, a common, strong, classic name. Angel, a word that invokes otherworldliness, heavenliness. Michelangelo, the creator of masterpieces, human forms with heavenly beauty.

And then there is Cy Twombly. What a wonderful name, and fitting for his work. Cy was named for baseball great, Cy Young. But he became great in an entirely different field, and his ball of choice was not of leather and stitching, but a great ball of fiery paint. Cy for Cyclone. Twombly, like a word one of my 4-year-old students would have created to describe something twirling and wobbling and spinning and riveting. I tell you, there's something to the names of people.
Untitled, 2008
Cy Twombly
Tate Modern
If you get a chance today, look up Cy. He and his friends decorated the modern art galleries of the world. His artwork has driven admirers to kiss his canvas (a less abstract expressionism, to be sure!). And if you ever find yourself in Philadelphia, stop by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and find his room of epics. Just sit and let Homer whisper in your ear as you gaze at the re-envisioned battles of kings and gods, of valiant men and scheming beauties.
Fifty Days at Ilium: The Fire that Consumes All Before It
Cy Twombly, 1978
Philadelphia Museum of Art

1 comment:

  1. Wow-I love how you always introduce me to incredible people and things I had never heard of before. This work is amazing. xx