Cy Twombly, 1928-2011

The celebrated American painter has died aged 83.

The American painter Cy Twombly has died at the age of 83. Last night, the art dealer Larry Gagosian paid tribute to Twombly, known for his abstract paintings:

The art world has lost a true genius and a completely original talent, and for those fortunate enough to have known him, a great human being. We will not soon see a talent of such amazing scope and intensity. Even though Cy might have been regarded as reclusive, he didn't retreat to an ivory tower. He was happy to remain connected and live in the present. Despite his increasing fame, he never lost the playfulness and sense of humor that was his true nature and, more importantly, he retained his humility. For me personally, it is an incredibly sad day and my thoughts are with Cy's family and close friends.

And if you can get to south London between now and 25 September, there's a chance to see some of Twombly's paintings, alongside works by Poussin, at the Dulwich Picture Gallery.

Daniel Trilling is the Editor of New Humanist magazine. He was formerly an Assistant Editor at the New Statesman.

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Cabinet audit: what does the appointment of Karen Bradley as Culture Secretary mean for policy?

The political and policy-based implications of the new Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

The most politically charged of the culture minister's responsibilities is overseeing the BBC, and to anyone who works for - or simply loves - the national broadcaster, Karen Bradley has one big point in her favour. She is not John Whittingdale. Her predecessor as culture secretary was notorious for his belief that the BBC was a wasteful, over-mighty organisation which needed to be curbed. And he would have had ample opportunity to do this: the BBC's Charter is due for renewal next year, and the licence fee is only fixed until 2017. 

In her previous job at the Home Office, Karen Bradley gained a reputation as a calm, low-key minister. It now seems likely that the charter renewal will be accomplished with fewer frothing editorials about "BBC bias" and more attention to the challenges facing the organisation as viewing patterns fragment and increasing numbers of viewers move online.

Of the rest of the job, the tourism part just got easier: with the pound so weak, it will be easier to attract visitors to Britain from abroad. And as for press regulation, there is no word strong enough to describe how long the grass is into which it has been kicked.

Helen Lewis is deputy editor of the New Statesman. She has presented BBC Radio 4’s Week in Westminster and is a regular panellist on BBC1’s Sunday Politics.