Thoughts on Mark Rothko.
I have just finished reading about Mark Rothko, one of my favourite painters, the book showed the progression of Rothko through all his different styles to where he finally ended up.
I love his final works the seagrams paintings and the monochrome work and I wonder if he had lived what would he had produced in his latter years.
I understand what he means by people have an emotional response to his works even though he had eliminated line from his paintings and concentrated on colour only.
The effect of the terrible destruction of World War ll saw these artists of the abstract expression era refuse to do similar paintings of the pre-war era and eliminate everything but colour from their paintings.
Yes everyone can paint like Rothko and Pollock it is not hard, but when Rothko painted his paintings they were cutting edge, new and original, when someone does it today it is boring and dull.
When Jackson Pollock painted his drip paintings he was cutting edge, a trail blazer but today when a school child does it, mummy and daddy are pleased, its not high art.
The challenge for artists today is not to repeat the past but lead us into the future with Art we have never seen before and change the world.
Rothko made a difference as did Pollock, they were trailblazers there was no map and no rules they just did it.
Rothko saw raw emotion in colour and painted his feelings sadly to his detriment as deep depression swamped his life.
I think the purity of his work should challenge those who paint abstract paintings to day, to see how his reductionist style changed everything, he saw with a new vision, a new clarity of thought of what Art should be.
No matter what your opinions of these artists, they were doing what no one else had done before them and few have done since.
For Rothko certainly, less was more.
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