Untitled, Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly
Back to top

Cy Twombly

Untitled, 1964

702 x 994 mm
Physical Description
Pencil, ballpoint pen, and coloured pencil on wove paper
Inventory Number
Object Number
17913 Z
Acquired in 2019 as a bequest from Ulrike Crespo from the Karl Ströher Collection
Can be presented in the study room of the Graphische Sammlung (special opening hours)


About the Work

From the 1950s onwards, Twombly’s drawings were dominated by rhythmically repeating line progressions, vortices, and isolated digits. Pencil, coloured pencil, and ballpoint pen facilitated this 'scriptural' drawing mode, which ultimately includes even the artist’s signature. On the white of the paper, they look provokingly like mere scribbles scattered across the surface as if by chance or remind us of clumsy handwriting. In fact, however, they are a form of graphism: direct seismographic traces of a physical, but also a poetic-artistic, process.

About the Acquisition

The Städel Museum has the photographer, psychotherapist, philanthropist, and long-time Frankfurt resident Ulrike Crespo (1950–2019) to thank for more than ninety works ranging from classical modernism to American pop art. The paintings, drawings, and prints by Wassily Kandinsky, Otto Dix, Oskar Schlemmer, Max Ernst, Jean Dubuffet, Cy Twombly, and others originally belonged to the holdings of her grandfather, the Darmstadt-based industrialist Karl Ströher (1890–1977), who amassed an extensive art collection after World War II.

Work Data

Basic Information

Period Produced
Object Type
Physical Description
Pencil, ballpoint pen, and coloured pencil on wove paper
Geographic Reference
Label at the Time of Manufacture
Signiert und datiert unten rechts (mit Kugelschreiber): Cy Twombly July 1964
  • Nicht vorhanden

Property and Acquisition

Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Picture Copyright
© Cy Twombly Foundation
Acquired in 2019 as a bequest from Ulrike Crespo from the Karl Ströher Collection

Work Content

Motifs and References

Main Motif


  • 0 Abstract, Non-representational Art
  • 49D32 line (~ planimetry, geometry)
  • 51I Space

Research and Discussion


Object History
Galerie Heiner Friedrich, München
verkauft an Karl Ströher (1890-1977), Darmstadt, 1965
Nachlass Karl Ströher, 1977
an seine Enkelin Ulrike Crespo (1950-2019), Frankfurt am Main
Vermächtnis an das Städelsche Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt am Main, 2019.


Since 2001, the Städel Museum has systematically been researching the provenance of all objects that were acquired during the National Socialist period, or that changed owners or could have changed owners during those years. The basis for this research is the “Washington Declaration”, also known as the “Washington Conference Principles”, formulated at the 1998 “Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets” and the subsequent “Joint Declaration”.

The provenance information is based on the sources researched at the time they were published digitally. However, this information can change at any time when new sources are discovered. Provenance research is therefore a continuous process and one that is updated at regular intervals.

Ideally, the provenance information documents an object’s origins from the time it was created until the date when it found its way into the collection. It contains the following details, provided they are known:

  • the type of acquisition and/or the way the object changed hands
  • the owner's name and place of residence
  • the date on which it changed hands

The successive ownership records are separated from each other by a semicolon.

Gaps in the record of a provenance are indicated by the placeholder “…”. Unsupported information is listed in square brackets.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact the museum at .

More to discover



Do you have any suggestions, questions or information about this work?

Last update