The Easel

A Life of “E”s

Morgan Meis, the Easel’s Contributing Editor, just co-authored a new book, Dead People. It is a collection of obituary essays described by one reviewer as “tart, funny, sad, occasionally angry and always surprising … an intellectual, artistic, and political history of the 20th century.” One essay is on the feted American artist Cy Twombly which is reproduced here with Morgan’s permission.

“[Twombly] must have liked the way, also, that his letter-and-word-scrawled canvases were a jolt to expectations. Paintings are supposed to be of images, while writing is supposed to use words. Words go one place, images another. You can’t really read a painting, Twombly realized, so you have to see the language found in a painting on a different register.”