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Cy Twombly: Treatise on the Veil

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Stephen Maine reviews Cy Twombly: Treatise on the Veil at the Morgan Library & Museum, New York, on view through January 25, 2015.

Maine writes: "On loan to The Morgan Libraryfrom the Menil Collection … Cy Twombly’s Treatise on the Veil (Second Version) … is immersive, sensuous and pictorial. Roughly ten by 33 feet, it was painted in Rome in 1970 and features the reductive gray-and-white palette Twombly had by that time been working with for several years. Photographs of these paintings often accentuate the gray’s bluish undertone, making it appear denser than it is; the Menil canvas’s enormous expanse of translucent, brushy paint evokes not a chalkboard but thick smoke or deep shadow… twelve untitled drawings … appear to be studies and are presented, with great success, as fully resolved works. Laced even more abundantly than the painting with Twombly’s distinctive, ad-hoc calligraphic scrawl, they incorporate scribbles, smudges, erasures and rubber-stampings, as well as multi-panel collage structures."

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