Virginia native Cy Twombly—an influential, path-breaking abstract artist—died in Rome on July 5 at the age of 83 after a struggle with cancer. Twombly’s work can’t easily be categorized. Though often described as a modernist, he chafed against the minimalism that marked the work of so many modern artists. Refusing to abide by expectations, Twombly followed his passions—away from the United States, into explorations of myth and fantasy, through experiments with disparate historical themes and dramatic uses of color and composition. The end result is a body of work that will long endure, placing Twombly in the highest ranks of modern artists.