Chalk: The Art and Erasure of Cy Twombly available to buy at Museum Bookstore

Chalk: The Art and Erasure of Cy Twombly

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'The most substantive biography of the artist to date...propulsive, positive and persuasive' - New York Times Book Review

A candid and tender study of the life and work of the famously guarded Cy Twombly

Cy Twombly was a man obsessed with myth and history - including his own. Shuttling between stunning homes in Italy and the United States where he perfected his room-size canvases, he managed his public image carefully and rarely gave interviews.

Upon first seeing Twombly's remarkable paintings, writer Joshua Rivkin became obsessed himself with the mysterious artist, and began chasing every lead, big or small--anything that might illuminate those works, or who Twombly really was.

Now, after unprecedented archival research and years of interviews, Rivkin has reconstructed Twombly's life, from his time at the legendary Black Mountain College to his canonization in a 1994 MoMA retrospective; from his heady explorations of Rome in the 1950s with Robert Rauschenberg to the ongoing efforts to shape his legacy after his death.

Including previously unpublished photographs, Chalk presents a more personal and searching type of biography than we've ever encountered, and brings to life a more complex Twombly than we've ever known.

  • Author: Joshua Rivkin
  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Date published: December 2020
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 978-1612198545
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 14 cm

'A valuable synthesis of what's been said and written about Twombly, and the author's lyrical analyses of Twombly's paintings are both lovely and insightful' - Harper's Magazine 

'The book becomes a record of obsessive love without any outlet, dead ends, yearning - themes central to Twombly...[A] besotted, often very beautiful book' - The New York Times

'The most substantive biography of the artist to date...propulsive, positive and persuasive' - New York Times Book Review

'A creative portal into the life of the enigmatic, reclusive, modernist painter... Rivkin's first book--impeccably researched, lavishly and lovingly written, insightful and discerning--is a joy to read' - Kirkus

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