Tag Archives: Mark Rothko

Destruction

Further to the phenomenon of iconoclasm or demolition of cultural monuments—the first thing that comes to mind is that modern art has always been iconoclastic and in fact very destructive. I’m enraged to read about the burning of old Korans … Continue reading

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The Lost Steps

Returning to an earlier discussion of books and art, my own favorite iconic novel of art is Alejo Carpentier‘s The Lost Steps. Although it is about a musicologist, it does have a lot to say about abstraction, if we can … Continue reading

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A Surprise

I might be unusual in having a very mobile taste—I’m always surprised by something. A good example is Rothko’s early work. I still have no affection for his characteristic brushy blocks, but the work of the early 40s seems to … Continue reading

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Professionalism as Ending

I know that the previous post ended on an apparent contradiction. Rothko’s mature and characteristic  work certainly looks strong in comparison to what preceded it—simplified, clarified, professionalized and rationalized, but it’s no longer an origin, more a conclusion. The way … Continue reading

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Origins

I’ve been looking at a recent catalog of Rothko’s works of the forties, the so-called “multiforms.” My friend Andreas Neufert is a big admirer of these works, but personally I find it hard to get interested. Yet Harry Cooper’s essay … Continue reading

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Rothko’s Flaw

Rothko described Pollock as a “continuous and self sustaining advertising concern.” I think he was talking about himself, because his work depends so much on the caption he provided. The flaw in Rothko’s work is that it is two things, … Continue reading

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