Cy Twombly and the American Critics, 1951–1995: A Reception History
This in-depth study by Richard Leeman, professor of art history at Université Bordeaux Montaigne, Pessac, France, analyzes the reception of Cy Twombly’s works by American critics from the artist’s first exhibition in 1951 through 1994–95, the year of his comprehensive retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Originally published in French by Les éditions du Regard, Paris, this newly translated account offers fresh perspectives on Twombly’s career and on developments in American art criticism over the course of more than four decades.
Leeman considers Twombly’s status as an American who worked primarily in Italy, and charts interpretations and misunderstandings of the artist’s work in relation to contemporaneous artistic production. Delving into the reception of Twombly’s gallery exhibitions and institutional retrospectives, he evaluates these assessments within the context of the critical frameworks that emerged around Abstract Expressionism, Post-Minimalism, Neo-Expressionism, and other movements. Benjamin H. D. Buchloh contributed the book’s foreword.