I copy here below my 2011 discussion. Note that the price that I took as a reference was the highest auction result for Twombly at that time. The very high level of some results recorded in the mean time may explain the increased expectation for the lot to be sold.
The art of Cy Twombly is unclassifiable, despite some similarities with Brice Marden. Neither figurative nor abstract, it is expressing something. On the canvas, a few lines of western type offer a message, but his calligraphy made in loops and angles does not meet any recognizable writing.
Yet the messages without words of Twombly deserve to be analyzed. Maybe not by you or me, but one of the keenest decipherers of his work had been Roland Barthes.
In 1967, his false writing imitated the traces of chalk on the blackboard of a children school. It is regular, and a handwriting expert could tell us that it reflects the learning of writing. A work made in pencil and house paint, 122 x 140 cm, was sold for $ 15.2M including premium by Christie's on May 11, 2011.
Until the end of his life, Twombly explored his original communication process. The lines became nervous, thick and messy with a violent color, and drips made the message looking like a liquid tag on a wall.
Painted in 2006, the acrylic on canvas 215 x 168 cm for sale is a cry of revolt, though we cannot guess against whom or against what such a disapproval is expressed. Perhaps against the world.