Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Mark Rothko was among the generation of American artists who completely transformed the essence and design of abstract painting. He was passionate about the viewer's experience. He said, "No possible set of notes can explain our paintings, their explanation must come out of a consummated experience between picture and onlooker. The appreciation of art is a true marriage of minds. And in art as in marriage, lack of consummation is grounds for annulment." His paintings have simple names so that nothing will stand between the painting and the viewer. Some examples are, "No. 13 (White,Red on Yellow)" or "No. 6 (Yellow, White, Blue over Yellow on Gray)".
I haven't figured out exactly what it is that draws me into a Rothko painting but I am drawn in. At first glance these may look like simple paintings but even after spending hours observing them their full potential can still be overlooked.
A few months ago we were in Washington, D.C. and had the opportunity to partake of the Rothko experience again at the National Gallery of Art. If you find yourself with that same opportunity don't just breeze by, take it in.