American painter, sculptor and designer. Between 1948 and 1951, he studied at the Washington and Lee University in Lexington, at the Museum School in Boston and at the Art Students League in New York. In 1951-52, he did a semester at Black Mountain College, where he attended courses taught by Kline and Motherwell. This period marked the start of his involvement with Abstract Expressionism. In the mid 50s, he began working with chalk and pencil and his paintings took on a more graphic character. The stylistic changes in his painting were registered more or less during his prolific production of drawings and prints, generally executed in series and grouped in cycles.
In 1957 Twombly returned to Italy to live. References to antiquity, ancient history, classical mythology, Renaissance painting and poetry became increasingly prominent in his paintings. In the first half of the 60s, he mainly used subjective and erotic signs in which intense and dense colours predominated. In the mid 70s, he evoked landscape through colour, inscription and glued elements. After 1976, he again produced some sculpture, lightly painted white and suggestive of classical forms. In 1977 and 1982, he took part in Documenta 6 and 7 in Kassel. He had some important retrospectives, in 1988 at the George Pompidou Centre in Paris and, in 1994, at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.