ART: The Grafitti of Loss

In nuanced abstractions, America's Cy Twombly shores up scribbly fragments against the ruins of the past

You don't have to be an all-out fan of Cy Twombly's -- though he certainly has them -- to welcome the show of his paintings and drawings at New York City's Museum of Modern Art. Curated by Kirk Varnedoe, it is a handsome affair with a cogent, detailed catalog introduction. Neither show nor catalog exactly inflates its subject, and yet one may not be quite convinced that Twombly, despite the past slights inflicted on his reputation in America, is the powerful artist of the first rank that moma would like him to be.

By now, with recorded auction prices of $3...

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