Archive for August 26th, 2022


The passions are a kind of thirst, inexorable and intense, for certain feelings or felt states. To find or invent ‘objects’ (which are, more strictly speaking, relational structures) whose felt quality satisfies the passions, – that for me is the activity of the artist, an activity which does not cease even in sleep. No wonder the artist is constantly placing and displacing, relating and rupturing relations; his task is to find a complex of qualities whose feeling is just right – veering toward the unknown and chaos, yet ordered and related in order to be apprehended.

–Mark Rothko, Beyond the Aesthetics (1946)

I have several things to do this morning but wanted to share something from another of those artists whose work and words have influenced me. In the past week or so, I have shared both art and writings from Kandinsky and Klee. I have to add Mark Rothko to that list.

Some people are surprised when I list him as an influence, but his work very much guided my own early explorations into painting. Especially in finding ways to express complex emotions within a limited visual vocabulary of symbols and colors which he terms as invented objects.

I thought the passage above was pertinent in that he speaks of seeking and moving towards the unknown and chaos while still maintaining enough order in which the work can still be comprehended. The idea behind my recent show at the West End Gallery was based on finding order in chaos but could have been just as much termed about comprehending the chaos with which we forever coexists.

Just something to think about this morning…

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