Cy Twombly, Natural History, Part 1, Mushrooms, (1974)
This is one of two portfolios made in the mid 1970s, the other being Natural History Part II (Some Trees of Italy) 1976. In both of these series, Twombly uses a quasi-scientific presentation with his characteristic expressive, gestural graphic language.
Twombly, like Rauschenberg with his collage prints, was a master of this kind of aleatoric-seeming collage, loose and dispersed but nonetheless composed. The intelligible and authentic science being practiced here is the testing of graphic structure itself - testing whether, in the end, it isn’t a matter of sensitivity. Might not structure be so permissive and flexible a thing that even the chaotic, at infinite distance, has a shiver of logic? Like John Cage (who Twombly might have picked up the fascination with mushrooms from), Twombly seems to have realized how easy art can be once you stop struggling with it!