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And by a prudent flight and cunning save A life which valour could not, from the grave. A better buckler I can soon regain, But who can get another life again? Archilochus

Monday, December 2, 2013

"There is only one thing I fear in life, my friend... One day the black will swallow the red."

Saw the John Logan play Red at the Everyman Theatre in Baltimore over the weekend. One word best describes the experience, "Awesome!"

“The child must banish the father. Respect him, but kill him.” - Mark Rothko character on the subject of Cubism/Surrealism

15 comments:

WomanHonorThyself said...

sounds intriguing! Enjoy your day my friend!:-)

-FJ said...

Thanks, Angel, I will! You have a wonderful day, as well!

FreeThinke said...

I'm sorry. I keep looking for -- nay searching -- desperately seeking -- the Emperor's New Clothes, and I just can't seem to find them ANYWHERE.

A serious lack in me, undoubtedly, but like Weem's fabrication extolling the sterling character of the very young George Washington, "I cannot tell a lie."

My youthful romance with "Modernism" ended early on. It happened in the early SICK-sties --the night I barely endured a film called "Last Year at Marienbad." Remember that?

-FJ said...

To understand the merits of the artist, I suggest you familiarize yourself with his biography... for after rothko, biographies of artists are irrelevant.... for he was the LAST "modern" painter... the "author" that he represents if heretofore and foreverafter "dead". After rothko, we are in the era of post-modern art. there are no authors, no authorities...just proletarian part-humans divided from their true selves by a social/societal "division of labour" that has also "divided thought" from the expereince of being "human".

-FJ said...

as for the film, i can't say as i ever heard of it. the play, "Red", on the other hand, was very comprehensible.... in that it made Rothko's work and place in the history of art comprehnsible as well.

-FJ said...

new link to replace the bad link above.

Jen said...

It's a very good documentary,and I think I understand Rothko and his art more than I did, but his chapel in Houston bothers me, for several reasons. Did he give up? He did in the end, obviously. I am curious about his alcoholism and his depression and how it affected his art.

P.s. the Houston chapel is depression manifest! I went once, unfortunately.

Jen said...

.

-FJ said...

I think that he may have committed suicide from "disgust"... of course, it didn't help that the CIA was funding both his and Pollock's work... and if Rothko had ever known, would have led to a sense of "depression" and belief that perhaps the success of his career had been a bit "fraudulent".

But then, why would the "value" one places on art in terms of "money" affect Rothko... the man who declined a payoff from the Seagram's commission? I suppose I can't answer the question.

All I can say, is that I appreciated the "early" Rothko much more than the "later" period painter who was trying to capture the somber and dimly lit feelings of Michelangelo's . staircase.

Jen said...

My mind is blown.


I had so much fun reading the CIA article! Shock and amusement!! The irony that our gov't funded a bunch of Leftist artists...it's just too good.

I also watched a Frontline about Lee Harvey Oswald. I'm feeling like a total conspiracy theorist. :p

Jen said...


But then, why would the "value" one places on art in terms of "money" affect Rothko... the man who declined a payoff from the Seagram's commission? I suppose I can't answer the question.
---

I think it would be devastating to find out that the CIA promoted the art. How successful would that group of artists have been were it not for the momentum created by the CIA?

Money aside, just the general fervor surrounding the art.

-FJ said...

Indeed.

But to be honest, I don't think that Rothko ever knew. I think he got depressed because there was no where to go from "Abstract Expressionism", at least not from a "Structuralist" point of view... and so Rothko became a prisoner of his own genre.

-FJ said...

btw - I heard an interview on NPR the other day with Teller of penn and teller fame about a movie they made called Tim's Vermeer that made me think of you. You might want to check it out when it releases.

Jen said...

A prisoner of his own genre...now there's a theme! Surely there are choices. A life of conviction doesn't HAVE to end in tragedy. I think he had suppressed his demons too long...


Thanks for the tip about Tim's Vermeer. I think I saw that NPR article, too. I'll be sure to look for the movie!

Thersites said...

No one appreciated tragedy as did "Rothko". But convictions are a two-edged sword. A failure to acknowledge the "second edge" and/or conceal it is what typically leads to tragedy. And those with "conviction" in the sword, are those who are most in denial about the second edge.

Of course, a "cynical" acceptance of the first edge born from a faith in the efficacy of the second is hardly better (Warhol).

I know, I'm talking in circles again. ;P