Cy Twombly, Natural History, Part 1, Mushrooms, (1974)
This is one of two portfolios made in the mid 1970s, the other being Natural History Part II (Some Trees of Italy) 1976. In both of these series, Twombly uses a quasi-scientific presentation with his characteristic expressive, gestural graphic language.
Twombly, like Rauschenberg with his collage prints, was a master of this kind of aleatoric-seeming collage, loose and dispersed but nonetheless composed. The intelligible and authentic science being practiced here is the testing of graphic structure itself - testing whether, in the end, it isn’t a matter of sensitivity. Might not structure be so permissive and flexible a thing that even the chaotic, at infinite distance, has a shiver of logic? Like John Cage (who Twombly might have picked up the fascination with mushrooms from), Twombly seems to have realized how easy art can be once you stop struggling with it!
He roared in the face of his diagnosis. He got tattoos. He went gambling in the afternoons. He bought a Harley Davidson. He tried various drugs, prescription and otherwise. He decanted glasses of champagne into his feeding tube. He out-risked risk itself. As Marvell wrote: “Thus, though we cannot make our sun stand still, yet we will make him run.”
I’ve never seen Nigella take drugs. In 15 years, I’ve only once seen her slightly drunk. It’s hard to think of anyone I know for whom the expression “off her head” is less appropriate, except, perhaps, my mother-in-law.
But I’m not surprised to hear she tried coke when John was around. Me too. The only time I’ve ever tried cocaine – which is also the only time I’ve ever seen cocaine – was under Diamond’s terrible, twinkling influence."
- Annie Clark on St. Vincent (via fuckyeahstvincent)
It was late in the meal when I mentioned his reputation among other journalists. He held his chopsticks in his hand.
“What did they say?”
Steve McQueen is 44 years old, tall and robust; he wore a T-shirt beneath a lightweight sport jacket and dark slacks and large black-rimmed glasses. He is exacting in his ideas, and sometimes struggles to communicate exactly what he’s thinking (he has occasionally borrowed reporters’ pens and paper to help him articulate his thoughts). He is full of energy.
“That I’m difficult?” he asked.
I rattled off some other descriptions: “curt,” “combative,” “volatile,” “scornfully dismissive,” “bullish,” “arrogant.” He pondered it a bit more. He asked whether I had an idea why this reputation exists. I told him I was more interested in his. “It’s journalists getting uppity, and when I get uppity, they write this.” It was an easy caricature: They expect him to be “from the ghetto,” he said, “to behave a certain way.”
“Excuse me for saying it,” he said, “but I suppose it’s because I’m black.”"