Twombly moved painting beyond the heroic domains of Abstract Expressionism—

Where his predecessors worked in brawny swaths of paint, Twombly focused on the delicate, scratching and scribbling, fusing looping calligraphic line, odd marks, raw smudges, blackboard-like scrawls and gorgeous visceral color with intimations of myth, narrative and a Whitman-esque feel for effusion and the erotic.

(words by Jerry Saltz)