21 May, 2007

Rothko Vision


No. 3/No. 13 1949
Mark Rothko

We are studying the Abstract Expressionists at The Colorist. Jackson Pollock has been covered, and we continue now with Mark Rothko.

His book from the grave, The Artist's Reality, arrived from Amazon late last week, and I find it interesting that I agree with what I've read so far of this great "color field" painter's philosophy.

I offer the following principles or vision for abstraction from the introduction of the Rothko book:

  1. Unity
  2. Generalization
  3. Ideas
  4. Emotion

What are your thoughts when you read these "abstract" words?

3 comments:

Meg said...

1. Unity - symmetry, balance, colors that permeate a piece

2. Generalization - categorizing, quick evaluation, first impression

3. Ideas - eggs hatching in your brain, parts of a painting stimulating your subconscious without you being aware of it

4. Emotion - color, composition, and subject can all evoke a huge range of emotions

Casey Klahn said...

Thought provoking, C.O.
Think about it also on the broader level of one's whole body of work.

Meg said...

Hmm, OK.

1. Unity - the common factors tying each piece to the others. Making them a set. Also, having a style; an artistic thumbprint.

2. Generalization - a few words that can describe, broadly, every piece in a set. Describing an artist's style with a few words or sentences.

3. Ideas - themes repeated in each work. I've heard it said with regards to teaching that it takes repeating something like 5 times to get an idea to sink in.

4. Emotion - the way the works make the viewer feel as a whole. Perhaps if one has unity, the viewer feels pleased, but without it, the viewer feels confused or conflicted.

I recently started to explore these ideas with respect to my own art. I've heard many good artists say you must specialize. In just the past couple weeks, I've tried to stick to one subject matter, and my friends have said, shouldn't you stop limiting yourself? Sigh.

Abstract Expressionism, Art Criticism, Artists, Colorist Art, Drawing, History, Impressionism, Modern Art, Painting, Pastel, Post Impressionism