Cy Twombly: The Natural World, Selected Works 2000–2007
May 16–October 11, 2009
The Modern Wing Abbott Galleries (182–184)

In Twombly’s art, site is intrinsically linked to content. An inveterate traveler, Twombly has always been acutely alert to locales and cultures other than his own. Since his student travels in Europe and North Africa, his sensitivity to site has provided an essential creative impetus. Over the last two decades, the artist has principally divided his time between two locations: Gaeta, a seaside village in his adopted country of Italy; and Lexington, Virginia, his childhood home in the Shenandoah Valley. Describing his experiences in both places, Twombly plainly stated:

Landscape is one of my favorite things in the world. Any kind of landscape stimulates me. I love the train ride from here [Rome] to Gaeta. In Virginia, I love to ride two or three hours every day, up the back valleys, the back roads, the streams of water there.

Well known for his still-incendiary paintings of the 1950s and 1960s, Cy Twombly continues to create art in a potently transgressive vein. Included in the exhibition are works in a full range of media made between 2000 and 2007, including an untitled series of seven acrylics with wax, pencil, and collage on paper executed in a floral motif; five sculptures in wood and plaster; seven dry-print photographs examining one of the sculptures in detail ; a selection of paintings from A Gathering of Time and Untitled (“Winter Pictures”); three monumental canvases from the series Blooming: A Scattering of Blossoms and Other Things; and, for the first time in the United States, the three large multipanel paintings that comprise III Notes from Salalah. The scope of this presentation aims to reflect the overarching preoccupations of Twombly’s late style.


A 96-page full color catalogue, including an essay by James Rondeau, accompanies the exhibition. The catalogue, distributed by Yale University Press, is available in the Museum Shop.


Cy Twombly: The Natural World, Selected Works 2000–2007 is organized by the Art Institute of Chicago, which is the exclusive venue for this exhibition.


The exhibition is curated by James Rondeau, Frances and Thomas Dittmer Curator and Chair, Department of Contemporary Art.


Major funding is generously provided by the Harris Family Foundation in memory of Bette and Neison Harris, and Caryn and King Harris.

Exclusive corporate support has been provided by UBS.


Generous funding has also been provided by Lannan Foundation.

Additional support has been provided by the Society for Contemporary Art.

Cy Twombly. Untitled, 2001. Collection of the Artist. © Cy Twombly. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery.