Joshua Rivkin on Cy Twombly in convo w/ Jacob Rivkin

Join us for a reading and discussion with Joshua Rivkin, author of Chalk: The Art and Erasure of Cy Twombly!

The first book to explore the life and work of Cy Twombly, one of the most important and influential artists of the Twentieth Century

Cy Twombly was a man obsessed with myth and history—including his own. Shuttling between stunning homes in Italy and the United States where he perfected his room-size canvases, he managed his public image carefully and rarely gave interviews. 

Upon first seeing Twombly’s remarkable paintings, writer Joshua Rivkin became obsessed himself with the mysterious artist, and began chasing every lead, big or small—anything that might illuminate those works, or who Twombly really was. 

Now, after unprecedented archival research and years of interviews, Rivkin has reconstructed Twombly’s life, from his time at the legendary Black Mountain College to his canonization in a 1994 MoMA retrospective; from his heady explorations of Rome in the 1950s with Robert Rauschenberg to the ongoing efforts to shape his legacy after his death.

Including previously unpublished photographs, Chalk presents a more personal and searching type of biography than we’ve ever encountered, and brings to life a more complex Twombly than we’ve ever known.

Praise for Chalk

“Reviled when young, revered when old, the elusive Twombly surprisingly emerges in this fascinating biography, which traces the difficulties of tracking down the man as thoroughly as it fills in the blurred, half-erased likeness. This is the record of a heroic journey of discovery.”
award-winning novelist and memoirist Edmund White

"A creative portal into the life of the enigmatic, reclusive, modernist painter... Rivkin's first book—impeccably researched, lavishly and lovingly written, insightful and discerning—is a joy to read." 

“This book is a network of glances, an architecture of mirrors and hallways, all in pursuit of a ‘figure in the carpet’—the mysterious Twombly and the haunting scrawl of his beautiful paintings."
Alexander Nemerov, author of Soulmaker: The Times of Lewis Hine

Joshua Rivkin’s poems and essays have appeared in The New YorkerSlateThe Southern ReviewThe Virginia Quarterly Review,and Best New Poets. A former Fulbright Scholar in Rome, Italy, as well as a Stegner Fellow in poetry, he has received awards from the Sustainable Arts Foundation, Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and Ucross Foundation. He teaches creative writing for Stanford’s Continuing Studies and lives in Salt Lake City.

Jacob Rivkin is an interdisciplinary artist living and working in Philadelphia, PA.  His sculptures and animations explore how we experience landscape, memory, and wonder. He received his BA from Vassar College and MFA from the University of Pennsylvania. His animations have screened at the Japan Media Arts Festival in Tokyo, Japan, Animation Block Party in Brooklyn, NY, Vox Populi in Philadelphia, PA, and the Peephole Cinema in San Francisco. His sculptures have been exhibited at the Vancouver Art Gallery in Vancouver, BC, The Science History Institute, Philadelphia, PA, and the Arlington Art Center in Arlington, VA. He is a former Fulbright Fellow, a recipient of the Visual Arts Fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and a Mellon Artist-in-Residence at the Penn Program in the Environmental Humanities. He currently teaches Fine Arts courses at the University of Pennsylvania.

Event date: 
Tuesday, October 16, 2018 - 6:00pm
Event address: 
Penn Book Center
130 S. 34th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Chalk: The Art and Erasure of Cy Twombly Cover Image
ISBN: 9781612197180
Availability: Available to Ship
Published: Melville House - October 16th, 2018