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Those who know me well are well aware of my background 

growing up in Germany; few are privy to the knowledge that
my first memories date back to an earlier point in my
toddler life in Turkey. There are fascinations
galore in my head as I recall those fuzzy moments, among
them a keen interest in Turkish history and culture.

As an artist with a decidedly abstract slant, Cy Twombly
has always offered me personal enjoyment, like a
crystallized glass of ice tea on a sticky August day. He
quenches another thirst with his vivid retelling of a
pivotal event in lore of the Ottoman Empire in his lush
series, “Lepanto”.

Inspired by the intense sea battle which freed a
Venetian-led Europe fleet from the Ottomans (during which
Cervantes lost an eye), Twombly’s series of 12 oils on
panel provide a descriptive narrative that add poetry and
vapid color to visible scenes of combustion.

One can see outlines of ships decimated by columns of drips
and scratches connoting fire and ordnance in the heat of
battle. Standing before these large panels is to bear
witness to first-hand combat, man and sword, cannonball and
fire, blood and honor. At times the paint blurs on intent
to create the smoke and gloom against contrasting cool hues
and one thinks of the heroism and cowardice of battle while
gazing at ghostly shapes of a fleet beautifully rendered in
its demise.

At the end of the series, I’m left as exhausted as those
who likely survived the real battle – these are truly great
works worthy of a master of the abstract oeuvre. If I were
not an artist looking for creative inspiration, I could
just as easily sit in the bathtub with toy boats to act out
the battle on my own.


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Miguel De Cervantes


Post Painterly Abstraction
Abstract Painting




Cy Twombly