On Chalk: The Art and Erasure of Cy Twombly – The Art Students League

On Chalk: The Art and Erasure of Cy Twombly

Thursday, September 19
Time: 6pm – 7:30PM
The first book to explore the life of Cy Twombly, one of the most important and influential artists of the twentieth century


Cy Twombly was a man obsessed with myth and history—including his own. Shuttling between his stunning homes in Italy and the United States, where he perfected his room-size canvases, he managed his public image carefully and rarely gave interviews. Upon first seeing Twombly’s remarkable paintings, author Joshua Rivkin became obsessed himself with the mysterious artist, and began chasing every lead, big or small—anything that might illuminate who Twombly really was.  Now, after unprecedented archival research and years of interviews, Rivkin has reconstructed Twombly’s life, from his time at the legendary Black Mountain College and The Art Students League of New York to his canonization in a 1994 MoMA retrospective; from his heady explorations of Rome in the 1950s with Robert Rauschenberg, to the ongoing efforts to shape his legacy after his death. Including previously unpublished photographs, Rivkin will present a more personal and searching type of biography than we’ve ever encountered, and brings to life a more complex Twombly than we’ve ever known.​

Joshua Rivkin is the author of CHALK:THE ART AND ERASURE OF CY TWOMBLY, a finalist for the PEN/Bograd Weld Prize in Biography and the Marfeld Prize, the National Award for Arts Writing. His first collection of poetry, SUITOR, is forthcoming in 2020.  A former Fulbright Fellow in Rome, Italy, as well as a Stegner Fellow in poetry, he has received awards from the Sustainable Arts Foundation, Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and Ucross Foundation.
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