Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
From 1947 to 1949, Twombly studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, and at the Art Students League in New York from 1950 to 1951. There, he met Robert Rauschenberg who encouraged him to attend Black Mountain College, near Asheville, North Carolina, where he met John Cage. In 1951 and 1952, he studied there under Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell, and Ben Shahn.
The Kootz Gallery , New York, organized his first solo exhibition in 1951. At this time, his work was influenced by Kline's black-and-white gestural expressionism, as well as Paul Klee's imagery. In 1952, Twombly received a grant from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts that enabled him to travel to North Africa, Spain, Italy, and France.
Upon his return in 1953, Twombly served in the army as a cryptologist, and this left a distinct mark on his style. From 1955 to 1959, he worked in New York, where he became a prominent figure among a group of artists including Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns. In 1959, Twombly went to Italy and settled permanently in Rome. It was during this period that he began to create his first abstract sculptures, which, although varied in shape and material, were always coated with white paint. In Italy, he began to work on a larger scale and distanced himself from his former expressionist imagery.
Twombly was invited to exhibit his work at the Venice Biennale in 1964. In 1968, the Milwaukee Art Center mounted the first retrospective of his art. The artist has also been honoured by retrospectives at the Kunsthaus Zürich in 1987, the Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris, in 1988, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1994, with additional venues in Houston, Texas, Los Angeles, and Berlin. The Cy Twombly Gallery of the Menil Collection in Houston, which was designed by Renzo Piano and opened in 1995, houses more than thirty of Twombly's paintings, sculptures, and works on paper, dating from 1953 to 1994.
Twombly lives in Lexington and Italy.
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