Monday, November 17, 2014

Another photo playing off Chris Bertram's photpblogging

Chris Bertram's got another good one over at Crooked Timber.   Here's something of mine, not exactly similar, but with steps in it.  Taken in Sorano, Italy, in 2002, when I was doing a photo workshop.

OK, here's another one, taken at DePauw University in 1999 (at a reunion).

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Mark Rothko, John Logan's "Reds, and Me

We were at the Indianapolis Repertory Theatre this afternoon, for the performance of John Logan's Tony-winning (2010) play "Red," about Mark Rothko. It's a very strong piece of work (two characters, Rothko and an aspiring painter who comes to work for Rothko as a studio assistant), set around the time Rothko received a commission to paint a series of murals for the Four Seasons restaurant in the then-under-construction Seagram Building in NYC. (Frankly, a less likely place ...for a set of paintings by Rothko is hard for me to imagine.) Well-acted, with a well-designed set, and well worth seeing. (I suspect it'll be around for a while--two characters and an easy set to's not an expensive play to produce...and short--one act, about 90 minutes.)

One thing it did, though, was remind me of two of the encounters I have had with Rothko's work. The first was in the early 1970s (I think) at MOMA. First time I ever saw one of his paintings, and all I wanted to do was crawl inside it and never come out. I don't remember much about it, except that is was multiple shades of (of course) red. (I've pasted a photo of a Rothko painting in red for you all).


The second was at the Rothko retrospective (apparently at the Whitney in 1998). It was at this show that I learned that Rothko thought his paintings should be viewed from about 18", so that the work completely filled your visual space and seemed to surround you. I walked into one of the galleries, turned to the wall, and saw a work in filled me with so much joy that I grinned and started laughing...

For me, Rothko is the greatest American painter of the 20th century (with Pollock, Motherwell, and Frankenthaler right there)