Cy Twombly, Untitled (Funerary Box for a Lime Green Python), 1954


"The at-once-ness of literal and allusive white paint, addressed above, now meets the seemingly contradictory, or at least discrete, quality of in-between-ness, registered in this case as what lies between the sculpture’s literal materials and its allusive title. Even so, here we must recall that the larger part of Twombly's title functions as a parenthetical, after that initial laconic Untitled. Parentheses are used to bracket an insertion without which a sentence, or a meaning, would yet remain grammatically correct. Or, more loosely, to bracket a digression, an interlude — better still, an interval. This title's parentheses point to the literal, grammatical fact of the gap as well as to the idea of the gap, the idea of the space-between."

— Kate Nesin, from "Some Notes on Words and Things in Cy Twombly's Sculptural Practice"


Cy Twombly, Petals of Fire, 1989


"I'm a painter and my whole balance is not having to think about things. So all I think about is painting. It's the instinct for the placement where all that happens. I don't have to think about it. So I don't think of composition; I don't think of colour here and there. Sometimes I alter something after. So all I could think is the rush. This is in certain things and even up to now, like The Four Seasons, those are pretty emotionally done paintings. And I have a hard time now because I can get mentally ill. I usually have to go to bed for a couple of days. Physically I can't handle it, and I can't build myself. You know, my mind goes blank. It's totally blank. I cannot sit and make an image. I cannot make a picture unless everything is working. It's like a state."

— Cy Twombly, from a 2001 interview with David Sylvester

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