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Cy Twombly and nothingness

By Sebastian Smee   March 2004

Lions spend an average of 20 hours a day doing nothing. It’s what they do in the other four that commands attention. But I never let myself forget the five sixths of every day that lions let slip through their being, like released rope through a pulley. One of the reasons my own childhood infatuation with big cats flowed naturally into a love of fine art had to do, I’m sure, with this business of doing nothing, which I have always considered a fine art of its own.

At university, I spent long hours in the fine arts library leafing…

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