… my plan to post my drawings and fine art content (art reviews, art book meanderings, etc.) on my main Tumblr never came to fruition. So I’m resurrecting this one and returning with arty wonderfulness for you all.
Thanks so much for your support by following me on this Tumblr. It’s been fun, but managing two Tumblrs is tough. I’ve decided to merge the contents of this one into my main Tumblr - Browsing. Follow me there or on my Twitter account @danibardgette.
I started wading through the National Gallery of Art’s website and found a slew of Rothko’s paintings. In addition to a large collection of his work, the site also has an excellent timeline that walks you through his work/life. Below I’ve included some quotes from Rothko and their curator Jeffrey Weiss:
"It was with the utmost reluctance that I found the figure could not serve my purposes …"
"The myth holds us, therefore, not through its romantic flavor, not the remembrance of beauty of some bygone age, not through the possibilities of fantasy, but because it expresses to us something real and existing in ourselves."
In their manifesto in the New York Times, Rothko and Gottlieb had written: “We favor the simple expression of the complex thought. We are for the large shape because it has the impact of the unequivocal. We wish to reassert the picture plane. We are for flat forms because they destroy illusion and reveal truth.”
In the journal Possibilities [Rothko] explained that these “shapes have no direct association with any particular visible experience, but in them, one recognizes the principle and passion of organisms.”
"…art to me is an anecdote of the spirit, and the only means of making concrete the purpose of its varied quickness and stillness."
Rothko largely abandoned conventional titles in 1947, sometimes resorting to numbers or colors in order to distinguish one work from another. The artist also now resisted explaining the meaning of his work. “Silence is so accurate,” he said, fearing that words would only paralyze the viewer’s mind and imagination.
Rothko stated that the large scale of these canvases was intended to contain or envelop the viewer—not to be “grandiose,” but “intimate and human.”
In a lecture at the Pratt Institute, Rothko told the audience that “small pictures since the Renaissance are like novels; large pictures are like dramas in which one participates in a direct way.”