I went to see the big Rothko Retrospective in Hamburg. As a bit of a fan of Rothko’s subtle use of colour and rectangles it was a great opportunity to see such a big collection of his works in one place in Europe. Cool stuff.
While the paintings are amazingly simple - ’just a bunch of rectangles’ - it’s amazing how good the look for that. How nice the colours are and how subtly they are chosen and applied to get a well pronounced difference between various shades of brown or even black.
I guess I also like the way Rothko’s trademark paintings are very organised in that they are all securely framed by a border of colour and then structurally simple. Despite that simplicity they give you plenty of things to look at with all the different hues, the way colours fade out and the multiple layers in them. I can totally understand people wanting to have that stuff in their living room.
And if Rothko hadn’t invented this half a century ago, I’m pretty sure people would have to invent it now. Because invariably attempts to reproduce the images in print or in digital media gets you to a case of FAIL because a lot of the subtlety and niceness doesn’t transfer to those. I’m sure modern media corporations just salivate for stuff like that.
Thanks for pointing that out, gonna check it out by myself :-).
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