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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“Minoan pendant”: a new poem by Mark Granier

“Yes – I press my nose / to the pleasantly warm glass – / it’s a copy of one I saw / cased in the cool museum”

Yes – I press my nose
to the pleasantly warm glass –
it’s a copy of one I saw
cased in the cool museum –
gold beaten to honey, a grainy
oval dollop, flanked by two
slim symmetrical bees –

garland for a civilisation’s
rise and collapse, eye-dropped
five thousand years: a flash
of evening sun on a windscreen
or wing mirror – Heraklion’s
scooter-life buzzing and humming –

as I step in to browse, become
mesmerised by the warm
dark eyes of the woman
who gives her spiel and moves
softly and with such grace,
that, after leaving, I hesitate

a moment on the pavement
then re-enter with a question
I know not to ask, but ask
anyway, to hear her voice
soften even more as she smiles
and shakes her hair – no.

Mark Granier is an Irish poet and photographer. He is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently Haunt (Salmon).

This article first appeared in the 16 June 2016 issue of the New Statesman, Britain on the brink