Twombly paints poems without words that may be assembled in a volume. Poems to the Sea, a set of 24 pages painted on paper in 1959, was sold for $ 21.7 million included premium by Sotheby's on November 13, 2013 over a lower estimate of $ 6 million.
The proto-writing phase on blackboards around 1970 did not stop his literary quest. In the mystical book Silex Scintillans written in 1650 by Henry Vaughan, Twombly selects the short poem The Storm where the author attempts a comparison close to pantheism between the violence of the weather projecting waters in the air and the passionate bubbling of his own blood.
This storm both external and internal is illustrated by Twombly in 1981 in oil, wax crayon, colored pencil and graphite on three uneven sheets of paper : 149 x 132 cm for the central page and 100 x 71 cm for each lateral page. The title Silex Scintillans is handwritten by the artist at the top of the left page which is the right place in a traditional reading.
This entirely abstract work is realized in a mingling of curved lines comparable to the mythological abstractions of the 1960s, using bright colors that intertwine their more or less spontaneous energy.
The triptych is estimated $ 5M for sale by Sotheby's in New York on May 18, lot 6. Please watch the video shared by Sotheby's in which a voice reading The Storm accompanies the exploration of the colored details of the artwork.
SOLD for $ 8.3M including premium