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Archive for August 8th, 2010

Rothko

I ran into my neighbor a few weeks back while walking out my driveway to get my newspaper.  We chit-chatted for a few moments and he told me that he and his partner had recently seen the theatrical show Red in NYC.  It’s about the artist Mark Rothko, played onstage by Alfred Molina who gave what my neighbor described as a dazzling performance.

As we parted and I headed back, I began to think of how little I knew of Rothko and his life.  I knew a number of his paintings, especially his signature works which are called multi-forms by critics and collectors.  The pieces shown here are examples of this work.  I have always been drawn to these paintings, especially when confronted by them in museums.  They are normally large in size and have two blocks of color placed one over the other.  They often have a blurred, almost fuzzy appearance created by multiple layers of paint that creates a preternatural glow in some of the colors. 

I have thought many of these to be exceptionally beautiful and meditative,  finding myself mesmerized by the aura of these paintings. I have even referenced these paintings many times over the years as an influence on the forms of many of my own paintings.  But I knew (and still know) little of the man or how he came to this form and style. Or his theories on his work.  It just seemed enough to take that feeling I recived from his work and translated/integrated it into my own, without words and theories.  Even this morning as I write this, I know practically nothing of Rothko, his life or his work prior to the multi-forms that I do know.

Maybe that’s the way it should be.   As Rothko said, “Silence is so accurate.”

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