Oil and crayon on canvas
Frame (Wood): 59 3/4 x 71 1/2 x 2 3/8 in. (151.77 x 181.61 x 6.03 cm)
Image: 58 x 70 in. (147.32 x 177.8 cm)
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
The Barry Lowen Collection
Untitled belongs to Cy Twombly’s Blackboards series, in which he drew whirling loops in white crayon on gray painted canvases, reminiscent of schoolroom chalkboards. The parallel rows of curving lines recall a child’s handwriting lessons, perhaps implying that the artist is positioning himself as a student, not a master. Twombly’s painting deemphasizes artistic skill as part of a broader challenge he posed to the idea that the brushstroke is a unique, authentic trace of the artist. His purposefully elementary graphic scribbles can be understood as undermining or questioning the painted mark that supposedly signifies the presence of the masterful artist, suggesting instead that making graphic marks—whether on a canvas or on a wall—is a fundamental, timeless aspect of human experience.
Twombly studied at Black Mountain College from 1951 to 1952.