We saw the Rothko retrospective
at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris. Fascinating to watch how his style changed -- how he found it, and then sort of lost it. This was interesting:
<blockquote>The recipe of a work of art -- its ingredients -- how to make it--the formula.
- There must be a clear preoccupation with death--intimations of mortality... Tragic art, romantic art, etc. deals with the knowledge of death.
- Sensuality. Our basis of being concrete about the world. It is a lustful relationship to things that exist.
- Tension. Either conflict or curbed desire.
- Irony. This is a modern ingredient--the self effacement and examination by which a man for an instant can go on to something else.
- Wit and Play...for the human element.
- Hope. 10% to make the tragic concept more endurable.
I measure these ingredients very carefully when I paint a picture. It is always the form that follows these elements and the picture results from the proportions of these elements.
I still am most fond of the canvas he's got up at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Like any Rothko, a photo doesn't begin to do it justice -- it is not one single color of blue, it is many blues. Up close and personal, it's mesmerizing. You could fall into it.