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Concrete expressionism
February 22, 2012 10:22 AM   Subscribe

Rothko Everywhere
posted by fearfulsymmetry (68 comments total) 56 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is great.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:23 AM on February 22, 2012


Eponysomethingical.

These are very nice to look at, just like MR.
posted by chavenet at 10:24 AM on February 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Cool. Love your title.
posted by yoink at 10:27 AM on February 22, 2012 [2 favorites]






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posted by Jairus at 10:27 AM on February 22, 2012


I like this a great deal.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:31 AM on February 22, 2012


Used to live down the street from the Rothko temple in Houston. I see those horizontal bands everywhere, especially on the west Texas horizon. Love it.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:34 AM on February 22, 2012


Used to live down the street from the Rothko temple in Houston.

I was there last year. It was the exact opposite of relaxing, mainly because it was so absolutely still and silent that every single footfall or clothes-rustling noise I made felt like I was overturning a bucketful of spare change.
posted by theodolite at 10:37 AM on February 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oops, I meant the Rothko Chapel.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:37 AM on February 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wasn't quite sure of what I was looking at, at first, but a little googling and this wiki page helped. For any other uninitiated like me.

Nice stuff all around.
posted by Doleful Creature at 10:41 AM on February 22, 2012


Okay, let's pretend for a second that I grew up in a cave on Mars and am completely ignorant of art history and concepts and so on, because that is how I feel when I look at a Rothko.

What's the appeal?
posted by griphus at 10:43 AM on February 22, 2012


What's the appeal?

Pretty colors, neatly arranged.
posted by chavenet at 10:45 AM on February 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Please let me recommend Mark Rothko Song by Dar Williams. It's on her album The Honesty Room. It kinda makes me misty a little bit.
posted by newdaddy at 10:48 AM on February 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Part of the greatness of Rothko has to be seen in person, because the canvases are huge and the brushwork is so subtle that prints can't begin to do justice to what his pieces look like. It sounds tremendously hyperbolic but the experience of looking at a Rothko up close in a gallery feels somehow hushed and spiritual, your eye just tumbling through this immense ocean of quietly blending colors.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:48 AM on February 22, 2012 [27 favorites]


> What's the appeal?

Are you talking about looking at pictures of a Rothko or the actual works up close in person. There's a sense of layering and density that's hard to capture otherwise.

I've been to the Rothko Chapel several times, although I'd probably only go again to show visitors around the city. It's an interesting place, if not a little forced in atmosphere. For the past decade or so it's been a focal point for interfaith dialogue and outreach.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:49 AM on February 22, 2012


Pictures of Rothko don't convey the emotional impact his paints have. Specifically Black on Maroon at the Tate in London is an remarkably visceral experience, and experience that looking at a six inch purple square ion a computer screen won't match.
posted by Keith Talent at 10:51 AM on February 22, 2012


What's the appeal?

chavenet: Pretty colors, neatly arranged.

And to differentiate it from a printed color swatch, they're created by hand, layered and arranged in an imperfect fashion, compared to the cold precision of a paint sample card.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:51 AM on February 22, 2012


For those in Portland there's a Mark Rothko retrospective at the Portland Art Museum from now until May 27. Also, this Friday is Free Fourth Friday.
posted by funkiwan at 10:54 AM on February 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


I never quite got Rothko until I saw his work in person. For me, they evoke a meditative mood that prints do not. The single best display of a Rothko I've seen was at the Tate Modern -- the Rothko was displayed on a wall perpendicular to a Monet of similar size and color progression, and it was so peaceful and contemplative to sit and absorb them together.
posted by EvaDestruction at 10:54 AM on February 22, 2012


I spent a lot of time in The Rothko Room at Tate Modern after I was finally, properly orphanned. You had to get in there early, but there was a kind of comforting sadness and peace about the place. I don't get the violence that some critics ascribe to his painting.
posted by tigrefacile at 10:58 AM on February 22, 2012


>There's a sense of layering and density that's hard to capture otherwise.

>...an remarkably visceral experience.


Absolutely. The colours come forward and recede again, and the whole thing seems to vibrate, it's so alive.

But for all of that, it's plainly not just a visual gimmick -- there's a lot more going on, in how the different fields relate to each other, and to the viewer. Something profound which you can't quite identify. I think, anyway.
posted by Capt. Renault at 10:58 AM on February 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


What's the appeal?

I'd second what people say about having to see them in the flesh to really "get" them. But if you have seen them in the flesh and they still leave you cold then I doubt there's anything anyone could say to change your mind. It's hard to imagine a less "intellectual" art experience (despite the reams of art-theoretical analysis you can find out there). Rothkos are intensely visceral; you will either find yourself gripped by them or you won't. And if you don't--well, them's the breaks. We can't all like everything.
posted by yoink at 10:59 AM on February 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


I went to see the AbEx show at the AGO in Toronto last year, which was a bunch of Abstract Expressionist paintings on loan from MoMA. I've always mildly liked Rothko's work, although I really went to see the Barnett Newmans and the Clyfford Stills.
But they had three or four large Rothkos in one of the big rooms and they just overwhelmed me. I gazed into them so long that they became dynamic...the colours changed and pulsed and blended before my eyes. Go see them in person if you get the chance.
posted by rocket88 at 11:01 AM on February 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Subconscious Art of Graffiti Removal
posted by pmcp at 11:02 AM on February 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Before I saw a Rothko in person I wondered "why would this simple-looking thing possibly affect people so much?"
Then I stood in front of one and wondered "how can this simple-looking thing possibly affect me so much?"
posted by nixt at 11:08 AM on February 22, 2012 [15 favorites]


Part of the greatness of Rothko has to be seen in person, because the canvases are huge and the brushwork is so subtle that prints can't begin to do justice to what his pieces look like. It sounds tremendously hyperbolic but the experience of looking at a Rothko up close in a gallery feels somehow hushed and spiritual, your eye just tumbling through this immense ocean of quietly blending colors.

Never having seen a Rothko painting in person, I'm definitely in the "what's the appeal?" camp. But I've heard your reasoning so many times that I realize I'm actually an agnostic. I agree that there are some artists whose works simply don't make sense until you really experience them personally.
posted by Jehan at 11:15 AM on February 22, 2012


Another vote for having to see Rothko in person to have any real sense of why his best work is so magnificent. The first time I saw a Rothko "live" -- it was the Museum of Modern Art, and I was probably 20 or 21 -- I staggered backwards, like I'd been hit in the solar plexus. I'd grown up around art, had been taken to some of the great art museums of the world as a child or teenager, and this was absolutely the first time I had ever had a transcendent experience in the presence of a work of art. There is a quality of light and vibration in his best works that feels like something glowing and humming right in front of you. It feels electric, pulsating, almost alive.
posted by scody at 11:16 AM on February 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


funkiwan, thanks for the heads up!

I didn't understand the appeal of Rothko either, until I saw the Tate Modern pieces. Truly astounding to stand in front of those canvases.
posted by Specklet at 11:20 AM on February 22, 2012


But if you have seen them in the flesh and they still leave you cold then I doubt there's anything anyone could say to change your mind.

Yeah, this is what is going on, although I haven't made up my mind as much as haven't been able to change it. I'm a pretty avid museum-goer and I've seen a number of his paintings in person and every time I'm all "oh hey a Rothko, okay, I'm being receptive, I'll see/feel it this time" and, nope, nothin'. I think part of it may be that I am disinclined toward the general still/meditative mood people see in it.

Oh well. How about some Malevich Everywhere?
posted by griphus at 11:20 AM on February 22, 2012


A lot of them look like landscapes to me, or maybe more like dreams of a landscape. They look like the moments when you can see something clearly and also not at all, like when you look too directly at the sun or when you walk into an unexpectedly dark room.
posted by colfax at 11:21 AM on February 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Okay now if someone can explain Kandinsky to me I'd be much obliged.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:23 AM on February 22, 2012


Sorry, you might need a touch of sysnesthesia to really appreciate Kandinsky.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:25 AM on February 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


*whew*
posted by shakespeherian at 11:26 AM on February 22, 2012


Kandinsky is just a sensory explosion; I can only assume synaesthesia would greatly contribute the feelings that he wanted to inspire. I think the fact that he called many of his pieces "Composition [number]" just speaks to the fact that they're assembled sensory experiences, made of bits and pieces of this and that and ordered in a precise way.
posted by griphus at 11:29 AM on February 22, 2012


I'm a pretty avid museum-goer and I've seen a number of his paintings in person and every time I'm all "oh hey a Rothko, okay, I'm being receptive, I'll see/feel it this time" and, nope, nothin'.

Yeah, I'm pretty much like that with Clyfford Still. I mean, sure, there are Stills I look at and think "hey, that's kinda nice"--but I'm almost never moved by them or fall in love with them. And yet I adore Pollock, Rothko, Frankenthaler, Morris etc. There are some Barnett Newmans that I love, and some that leave me quite cold.

What can you do? You can't talk yourself into loving something. I think the only thing you can do is to keep looking and not try to rationalize an aesthetic response that lies deeper than conceptual, analytic thought into some kind of b.s. "argument" against the works you happen not to like. You never know. One day you might walk into a room of Rothkos and find yourself buckling at the knees. I know I'm keen to go to the new Clyfford Still museum and see if I don't finally "click" with those. I'm always happier when I find a way to enjoy a work of art than I am inventing post hoc justifications for my failure to enjoy it.
posted by yoink at 11:30 AM on February 22, 2012


I think the fact that he called many of his pieces "Composition [number]" just speaks to the fact that they're assembled sensory experiences, made of bits and pieces of this and that and ordered in a precise way.

His own reason for calling them that is because he had an elaborate theory of the relationship between art and music--although your reading of it certainly makes sense in its own terms.
posted by yoink at 11:32 AM on February 22, 2012


To be fair, I was kind of kidding abotu Kandinsky, because some of his stuff I do like (the more geometric/Klee-ish stuff for example). It's more the untitled watercolors I can't get behind.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:38 AM on February 22, 2012


Oh that makes perfect sense. Looking at something like this, there's similar feeling of parts creating a whole through time in the same way a musical composition would.
posted by griphus at 11:38 AM on February 22, 2012


Wow, that "Dans le gris" piece is so visceral it's almost like an abstract Francis Bacon painting.
posted by griphus at 11:40 AM on February 22, 2012


If you still don't get it, that's okay. (Same thing goes for Jackson Pollock.) What people see in Rothkos is the same thing people see in a lot of non-abstract work. Take for instance 'Whistler's Mother,' which is actually titled Arrangement in Grey and Black No.1. In person, that Whistler is freaking amazing and has nothing to do with mothers, but about balance and shapes and texture and the colors grey and black, and it is profoundly effective. To me, at least.

Some people tend to think that paintings are like photographs, in that the subject of the photograph, and the way the subject is treated, are the effective elements.* But paintings are more like music, which may have sub-par or nonsensical lyrics, or no lyrics at all, but still may have a profound effect when listened to.**

I'm not saying this is why you don't get Rothkos, Griphus, it's probably something else, because you seem to have a pretty profound artistic sensibility, but I know that a lot of people can't appreciate abstract art because of this.

* It's part of the "my kid could paint this" mentality. The subject of abstract painting isn't a bunch of blocks or strips of color rolled across a canvas, or a bunch of paint drips and splotches.
** The thing about music, though, is that it's two-dimensional at least in the sense that your brain guided through the notes as the piece progresses; paintings are one-dimensional in that sense, but a painting has a similar effect in terms of guiding your brain through it.

posted by jabberjaw at 11:41 AM on February 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


You know that live concert album/CD/mp3 you have of a band you've actually seen live and really like? It's not the same, not even close, to actually seeing them perform, right?

It's like that, only art.
posted by cccorlew at 11:41 AM on February 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


For me too, Rothko's art is one of those things I was surprised to have such a visceral, emotional reaction to, and that I'm at a loss to entirely explain.

Maybe one aspect (that this blog brings out) is that Rothko's paintings seem to exist simultaneously in the human-made and the natural world. The textured richness of the colors mimic the complexity of nature, and then you have those linear boundaries, which initially seem more human in origin, but they also resemble horizon lines. So there seems to be no contradiction between the humanity and nature, which could account for the profound feeling of peace that many people experience with Rothko.

Of course, that doesn't explain why so much other art that tries to do the same thing doesn't have nearly the same impact...
posted by speicus at 11:44 AM on February 22, 2012


Meanwhile I'm waiting for a Baziotes revival to sweep the nation because I cannot get enough of him.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:45 AM on February 22, 2012


From Kandinsky's Concerning the Spiritual in Art:
And so at different points along the road are the different arts, saying what they are best able to say, and in the language which is peculiarly their own. Despite, or perhaps thanks to, the differences between them, there has never been a time when the arts approached each other more nearly than they do today, in this later phase of spiritual development.

In each manifestation is the seed of a striving towards the abstract, the non-material. Consciously or unconsciously they are obeying Socrates' command—Know thyself. Consciously or unconsciously artists are studying and proving their material, setting in the balance the spiritual value of those elements, with which it is their several privilege to work.

And the natural result of this striving is that the various arts are drawing together. They are finding in Music the best teacher. With few exceptions music has been for some centuries the art which has devoted itself not to the reproduction of natural phenomena, but rather to the expression of the artist's soul, in musical sound.

A painter, who finds no satisfaction in mere representation, however artistic, in his longing to express his inner life, cannot but envy the ease with which music, the most non-material of the arts today, achieves this end. He naturally seeks to apply the methods of music to his own art. And from this results that modern desire for rhythm in painting, for mathematical, abstract construction, for repeated notes of colour, for setting colour in motion.
It's available at Project Gutenberg if you're interested, Griphus.
posted by yoink at 11:46 AM on February 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Apropos of nothing, Andy Warhol died 25 years ago today.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:48 AM on February 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Some people tend to think that paintings are like photographs, in that the subject of the photograph, and the way the subject is treated, are the effective elements... (my bold)

Interesting enough, yesterday I gave my community college photo class an assignment to "Make a photograph where the photograph isn't about what it's a photograph of" as a way of trying to get them to move beyond simply photographing a subject.

I introduced the assignment with paintings by Rothko, Pollock and Mondrian.

I love Metafilter.
posted by cccorlew at 11:48 AM on February 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


I had the same reaction to the Rothkos at the Tate that others describe -- a deeply meditative, almost overwhelming emotional engagement. I stood there for a long, long time. You can just sink into those paintings.
posted by muckster at 11:49 AM on February 22, 2012


What's the appeal?

Seconding everyone. The appeal is seeing them in person. I, like pretty much everyone ever, didn't get it until I saw a Rothko exhibition at the Fort Worth Modern some years ago. I grinned like an idiot the moment I saw them, and nearly wept in the Red room at the Tate Modern. I think they become even more astounding if you're a painter. How? How?? They're simultaneously exquisitely controlled and deeply spontaneous. You can follow his brushstrokes like a map and participate in what could only have been a deeply meditative experience for Rothko himself. Each stroke has a spontaneous, but specific purpose. It's strange, but they're like vey good ancient Chinese paintings.

May I also say that this thread has restored my faith in art discussion on MetaFilter. Every time Rothko comes up in other threads there's some hurf durf, "almost as bad as Pollock, amirite?" and I either have to try to explain to someone why they have no idea what they're talking about or go outside. I try to go outside most of the time, but yes! There are people who are capable of looking at art on MetaFilter!

You also have to see Polack in person.
posted by cmoj at 12:02 PM on February 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


You know that live concert album/CD/mp3 you have of a band you've actually seen live and really like? It's not the same, not even close, to actually seeing them perform, right?

It's like that, only visual art.

FTFY, cccorlew.
posted by IAmBroom at 12:14 PM on February 22, 2012


You also have to see Polack in person.

In Warsaw if you can, if not, maybe Chicopee?
posted by chavenet at 12:40 PM on February 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Re: Kandinsky and music, this conversation is what it finally took to make these simultaneous exhibitions at the Phillips Collection click (nearly a year later), so thank you, shakespeherian, griphus, and yoink. Love the space, but sometimes I find their curation a bit wanting. Also, I think the lighting is too dim in the Rothko Room.
posted by EvaDestruction at 12:55 PM on February 22, 2012


Yeah, another, you can only really appreciate Rothko in the real... it's the size of them and the way they are paint so that the overlapping layers seem to shimmer at the edges.

Same goes for a lot of modern art, abstract expression in particular. This looks like absolutely nothing in reproduction, almost to an hilarious degree... but stand in front of it and having your visual field filled with just one colour starts to do weird things to your brain after a few moments.

Also cough cough novel wot I wrote cough lots on modern art cough especially Rothko cough...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:22 PM on February 22, 2012


Like the final climax of a giant orchestra, Moscow resounds victoriously.
I remember misreading this quote by Kandinsky as being about Kandinsky, because I scanned over it and realized that it was such a perfect description of so much of Kandinsky's work that my brain replaced "Moscow" with "Kandinsky." In any case, that's how I feel about his paintings: they are what you get when you have the horns bellowing and the trumpets blaring and the basses roaring and you freeze it in time and commit it to canvas. Recently I was a sample from an orchestral tutti as the basis for some granular synthesis, and it reminded me of that feeling. It's always made sense to me that his work was so bound up in auditory sensation for him.
posted by invitapriore at 1:24 PM on February 22, 2012


I've only been to the Rothko Chapel once (despite having grown up in Houston) and I didn't get it. They did have people moving stuff around in the chapel, though, so maybe it wasn't a good experience. On the other hand, I'm really not an abstract art person in most cases, so it may be that I lack the gene.

Weirdly, I think I get more than I expected from the blog, though.
posted by immlass at 1:42 PM on February 22, 2012


I went to the Tate Modern last year. It was my first full weekend in London (had been there for a single day previously) or really in any city of that magnitude, first time staying in a four star hotel, and my first visit to a museum of that calibre. We were there for the Miro exhibition, which I utterly adored (unexpectedly). And been all around the Tate Modern. And marvelled at the museum building itself. So by the time we got to the Rothkos I was pretty tired and overwhelmed anyway, and they just knocked me flat. I had to sit in the middle of the room and just stare at everything like if I could open my eyes wide enough to get it all in it would make sense and I'd be able to breath again. The huge Miro panels did the same thing, only more so.

I didn't really see the point of abstract impressionism before hand. I most likely don't fully get it now, but the power and beauty sinks in more with every new piece I see in person. Having access to all this is why I moved to Europe and it was so worth it (conveniently being excellent for my career at the same time).
posted by shelleycat at 1:44 PM on February 22, 2012


Just adding my voice to the chorus of love for Rothko, though even something as deep and strange as 'love' doesn't seem to cover his work. The first time I really saw a Rothko was at the Tate, in the room of his piece he'd done for, I think, a restaurant, and it was a religious experience. The best I've seem his work, though, was an exhibition put on by...the Tate Britain, maybe? I can't remember, but it filled a room with Rothkos and late Turner watercolours and I still get a lump in my throat, thinking about it.

I clicked the link earlier and didn't much like it, not catching the depth and the sheer size of Rothko's work, the way you can stand in front of one and let it fill your whole field of vision and just fall into it. I'll give it another try.
posted by kalimac at 2:15 PM on February 22, 2012


...I'll see/feel it this time" and, nope, nothin'.

Same here. Just doesn't do it for me.

I mean, I'll happily spend an hour in a room full of Rothkos, appreciating them on a technical and art historical level, but his work absolutely does not give me the 'pulse quickens, brain overloads with ideas, feel a bit sick, I want to steal this and keep it forever' type feeling I get from art I really love.

I did get that feeling on first seeing Malevich's Black Square in the flesh (the fourth one that was missing until the '90s) so maybe I only like Russian-born abstract artists when they colour inside the lines ;-)
posted by jack_mo at 2:18 PM on February 22, 2012


One of the first violent disagreements my husband and I had as a married couple was on our honeymoon. We visited the UK to meet the other half of my family, and while there we popped into the Tate Modern, which had a Rothko exhibit. Immediately upon walking into the room, both of us were hushed, standing in silence, looking carefully at each individual canvas.

"Unbelievable," I said. "I love Rothko. His work induces such a sense of calm, of light, of joy. I wish I could live here."

"Oh," said my husband. "I thought they were trying to figure out what color to paint the walls."

Philistine.
posted by KathrynT at 4:05 PM on February 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


my daughter was seven years old and I took her to MOCA in Los Angeles. she loved to draw in those days, and always carried around a drawing pad and markers. it was early evening, and the museum was quiet. we walked from room to room, and we reached a room with four Rothkos. she stopped, looked around, and without a word she smiled and sat down and started to draw. there was plenty of great art on the other walls in the other rooms of the museum that night, but for whatever reason, Rothko's work reached her powerfully and immediately. somewhere in my collection of things in some drawer somewhere I know I saved the drawings she made that night.
posted by TMezz at 4:55 PM on February 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is interesting, my immediate impression of many Rothkos is that I interpret them as landscapes/seascapes, so to see it the other way round is neat.
posted by carter at 5:10 PM on February 22, 2012


I'd had seeing a Rothko built up over the years in my mind as this massive encounter, so when I was in Canberra and had the opportunity to go and see one, I was so eager. I'd read his biography, and seen numerous art teachers over the years get strangely overcome when trying to describe seeing one in person. Being the sort to cry in front of paintings from time to time, I was almost fearful that the experience wouldn't live up to my expectations.

After wandering through the National Gallery for a bit, I started getting really excited, because someone had told me it was right near Pollock's Blue Poles, which I could see approaching me as I walked forward. I'd taken my mother who is gaga for Monet and left her with a truly beautiful painting of Irises, she was taking her glasses off, and putting them back on again, clearly impressed. Like all parents who are just a little bit unpredictable in public, she has a very loud, carrying voice, and was jostling strangers and saying things like, 'Wow! Look at that! Look at this painting! Isn't it the best thing you've ever seen?'

I walked up to Blue Poles, and in my peripheral vision there is this red block, and I wait a heartbeat before turning around, because I know it is the Rothko. I'm trying to see if I can feel the painting, before I look directly at it. I slowly turn, and there it is, this redish blackish rectangle, like a portal, ebbing and pulsating. I start thinking about vibrations, about chords, about how I feel like I'm staring down into a grave, my own grave, about how I've conditioned myself to think all this stuff upon finally seeing a Rothko, about how the things I feel are too powerful to be by-products of an arts education, about the fact that I'm going to die, about which parts of my insides are that same red as the paint, about time and space. And I'm really excited, because I can feel something coming up inside me, like the queasiness right before vomiting, but it's this big emotional response, and even if tears are a little embarrassing in public, so what, because I am about to have A Big Art Experience.

Right before I reach whatever thrilling cathartic thing is supposed to be coming though, my mum appears beside me. I want to say something to her about how isn't this the best thing you've ever seen, about how looking at this I'm caught between wishing I could paint forever and never wanting to work again, about how I want to be cremated instead of lowered into the cold dark earth. But before I can, she slaps me on the shoulder and says (again in loud, carrying voice) 'God, what a load of rubbish. I'm going out for a smoke.' And though I expect to see more of his paintings in the course of my life, this is moment will be forever linked in my mind with Rothko.
posted by sleep_walker at 5:24 PM on February 22, 2012 [7 favorites]


ROTHKOesque on Flickr.
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 7:12 PM on February 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't think this website really has anything to do with Rothko. It's like putting up a blog of photos of drips and dribbles and saying "Pollock Everywhere." That really only shows the blogger's inability to comprehend what the painter is doing.

I won't add to the commentary on what Rothko is doing, except that I think of it as a complex interaction of fields and "edge conditions." I could demonstrate those ideas more adequately with a painting of my own. And of course, like every painter, I am firmly convinced that my interpretation of Rothko is the correct one, the only correct one. The mark of a really great painter (not me, Rothko) is that he can deliver an idea and give you certitude that you received it. It does not matter that it might not exactly be Rothko's original idea, but you got a clear message anyway.
posted by charlie don't surf at 7:26 PM on February 22, 2012


For those in Portland there's a Mark Rothko retrospective at the Portland Art Museum from now until May 27. Also, this Friday is Free Fourth Friday.

Thanks. As it happens, I'll be in Portland on Friday, although I try to not go to museums on free days.
posted by neuron at 8:47 PM on February 22, 2012


I don't think this website really has anything to do with Rothko. It's like putting up a blog of photos of drips and dribbles and saying "Pollock Everywhere." That really only shows the blogger's inability to comprehend what the painter is doing.

I don't think the blogger is suggesting that his photos are interchangeable with Rothko's work. I think he'd say that it's exactly like putting up tightly cropped photos of paint splatters or other complexly tangled forms and calling them "Pollocks everywhere." It's an exercise in discovering formal "rhymes"--it's not a denigration of the original works.
posted by yoink at 11:15 AM on February 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


SLYT - for as long as it stays up: Simon Schama's The Power of Art - Rothko
posted by paperpete at 1:38 PM on February 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's an exercise in discovering formal "rhymes"--it's not a denigration of the original works.

That's not what I meant. It's an exercise in what the blogger thinks is a "formal rhyme" with Rothko. This doesn't reveal anything about Rothko, it merely reveals the blogger's inability to connect with Rothko. If you don't understand the language, how can you find the rhyme?
posted by charlie don't surf at 6:12 PM on February 23, 2012


Almost perfect
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:14 PM on February 28, 2012


there's a Mark Rothko retrospective at the Portland Art Museum from now until May 27.

Thanks so much, funkiwan. I was just able to fit it in today, on my last morning in Portland, and I really enjoyed it. I'm glad I was able to stop by the John Frame exhibition, too.
posted by EvaDestruction at 3:30 PM on March 6, 2012


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