Cy TWOMBLY, Untitled Enlarge 1 /1

Cy TWOMBLY

United States of America 1928 – Italy 2011

  • Italy from 1957

Untitled 1987-2004 Creation Notes: cast 2005 probably by Fonderia Cavallari, Rome
Materials & Technique: sculptures, bronze Edition: no.4 from an edition of six

Edition Notes: Nasher Sculpture Centre, Dallas other casts in San Francisco; Washington DC; Paris and Munich
Dimensions: 368.3 h x 88.9 w x 34.3 d cm ; weight 400 kg
Acknowledgement: Purchased with the generous assistance of Roslyn Packer and members of the NGA Foundation: John Kaldor and Naomi Milgrom, Julie Kantor, Andrew Rogers
Accession No: NGA 2006.384

This work stands tall and demanding, a pale, attenuated monument of extraordinary power and subtle surface. Made of bronze, a traditional material of sculpture still common today, it calls on the conventions of ancient art as well as those of modernism. Its grey-green painted patina brings to mind retrieved archaeological treasures from Mesopotamia, Greece and Etruria. The extended narrow form and worked surface recall the work of twentieth-century sculptors Alberto Giacometti and David Smith.

The artist combines found objects, pieces of wood and metal rods into new meta-objects. His sculptural process involves painting the united form white, and then casting a small edition in bronze.

Inscribed on the upper surface of Untitled is the word ‘Victory’ Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, announces success in a sea battle from the prow of her ship. By its combination of elements, Untitled is transformed into a ship: a sail with mast and rigging on a pedestal-hull. Both the headless marble figure of Nike and Twombly’s bronze ship-like forms stand on heavy rectangular bases, anchoring them. The breath of wind that animates Nike’s draperies is echoed in Twombly’s rendition of a sail.


Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2010
From: Ron Radford (ed), Collection highlights: National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2008

This work stands tall and demanding, a pale, attenuated monument of extraordinary power and subtle surface. Made of bronze, a traditional material of sculpture still common today, it calls on the conventions of ancient art as well as those of Modernism. Its grey-green painted patina brings to mind retrieved archaeological treasures from Mesopotamia, Greece and Etruria. The extended narrow form and worked surface recall the work of twentieth-century sculptors Alberto Giacometti and David Smith.

Cy Twombly combines found objects, pieces of wood and metal rods into new meta-objects. His sculptural process involves painting the united form white, and then casting a small edition in bronze.

Inscribed on the upper surface of Untitled is the word ‘Victory’. Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, announces success in a sea battle from the prow of her ship. By its combination of elements, Untitled is transformed into a ship: a sail with mast and rigging on a pedestal-hull. Both the headless marble figure of Nike and Twombly’s bronze ship-like forms stand on heavy rectangular bases, anchoring them. The breath of wind that animates Nike’s draperies is echoed in Twombly’s rendition of a sail.


Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2014
From: Collection highlights: National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2014