The Disturbingly Scribbled Room, Cy Twombly, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
Within the great art museum (Phildelphia Museum of Art) of the formerly staunch and dramatically underrated old city of brotherly love, we found the writing on the wall to be rather disturbing, but yet amazing in one full swoop.
Known as Cy Twombly, Edward Parker Twombly, Jr. (1928-Living) is an America artist who was introduced into popular art culture in the 1950s with the debut of his work at the Kootz Gallery in New York City. The best way to describe his work is perhaps as large-scale, erratically scribbled, graffiti-esque paintings. Drawing? Painting? Or both? Who knows… Many described his work as “bathroom graffiti,” but lots of times his work is shown with space in mind. Since his painting are very large he often gets a wall or two, but not in Philadelphia.
As you can see in the above photograph, his large white canvases are shown here in a bleak museum interior striving to be very sterile. While most know him for his use of gray, tan, and white, this score of paintings, titled Fifty Days at Iliam: Heroes of the Achaeans (1978), is done with the use of dark red and black with oil, oil crayon, and graphite on canvas. Having the entire room focused on Cy Twombly produces an almost disturbing effect that is only as dramatically possible when surrounded by his work. We might be individually effected by these images as singular works, but as an environment they become a true experience.