Author(s): Nela Pavlouskova
Beginning in 2003, when Twombly was seventy-five years old, a fresh surge of creativity brought new energy into his art, expanding upon themes and modes of expression from throughout his career. Characterized by monumentality and flamboyant colour, these works often use large formats to accommodate broad and sweeping motions. Sometimes their surfaces are dense and heavily worked; sometimes they are expressively fluid, incorporating chance elements such as extravagant drips of paint. Favoured motifs such as ships, flowers and mythological references are revisited in new contexts and allowed to interact in unusual ways. Like his earlier output, however, these images continue to engage viewers in an active dialogue, resisting easy interpretation and offering up multiple layers of potential meaning. Concluding with the series known as The Last Paintings, completed only a few months before his death in 2011, these are memorable works in which the gestural intensity of this great artist is vividly preserved.