Cy Twombly’s Humanist Upbringing - Tate Research Repository
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Cy Twombly’s Humanist Upbringing



In the United States postmodern scepticism often has relegated Cy Twombly’s engagement with classical and humanist themes to nostalgia, irrelevance or an over-indulgence in European tropes. In the 1940s and 1950s, however, two of the most active polemicists of the period, Robert Motherwell and Charles Olson, the leader of the Black Mountain poets, saw Twombly’s early works as compatible with their own ideologies and artistic strategies. This paper argues that Twombly learned from his mentors and participated in an American revision of humanism that prepared a foundation for his lifelong commitment to humanist discourse.


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