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Tag: Washington DC

Rothko’s Black Paintings at the NGA

I’ve spoken briefly about the darker Rothko paintings before – and of the belief that many people hold that it is really the brightest of the Rothko’s paintings that reflect his ongoing bouts with depression while the darker moodier works are usually created in his happier times. Between you and me, I’m a little tired of worrying about Rothko’s mental health, especially as we continue to have amazing painting to view and ponder other questions.

The “Black Paintings” were Never sold or exhibited during his lifetime, these little-known works were painted after his 1961 retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art. Many artists will speak of a let down or general malaise after a large show in which they have been engaged at a high level over a long period of time – this could very well have been the case for MR.

During this time Rothko was starting to think serially and had begun to find individual paintings as inadequate and episodic. This approach for him would lead to great success for what would later be known as the Rothko chapel, he produced fourteen large paintings and four alternates, many of them (really, almost all of them) direct successors to the black paintings of 1964.

This is the first exhibition to focus on the black paintings.


In Artforum no less…

Sarah K. Rich made my day yesterday when I sat down to read a bit of the recent Artforum. Unfortunately it sometimes takes someone’s death to trigger a critical response about recent trends and ideas that seem to be on the way towards canonization. In her obituary for Kenneth Noland, Ms. Rich starts with an assumption that she finds (happily) to be false about the preciousness of an art object once Mr. Noland has finished, as well as the energetic physical engagement towards his finished art object.

Let me cut to the chase here; The part of this article that impresses me – and gives me hope for future critics and curators is this:

“Now that we are several decades down the hill of popular culture, and we’ve all gotten a better idea of how frenzied and mind-numbing kitsch can be, the formalist advocacy of work that might give the viewing subject a place for the exercise of sustained and quiet attention doesn’t seem like a bad idea.”

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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Links to note… I'm way late edition

The NYT on Kenneth Noland’s death

Joe Cameron on photo book value vs. photo book use (Please Note: A former Teacher of mine) While you are at that site – this is the best photo related blog post ever.

The Daily Batman (see above) is just too good not to share

I thought Lenny Kaye looked great at Robert Miller last Wednesday

Hot Gossip: Word on the street is Manfred Baumgartner is about to sign a lease for a small gallery space in a terrific location in D.C. (DC could use his return, his last gallery in DC was always amazing – I still remember his Joan Mitchell show)

Someone seems interested in the whole Deitch saga, see Green, Tyler (here, here, here, here, and here) – in all honesty, it’s a pretty interesting story.

Photo of my show being installed (Below) – Drop by Thursday night in Chelsea if you can. (511 25th Street)

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Brice Marden in conversation – National Gallery of Art Nov. 22, 2009

This is the first 4 minutes or so of Brice Marden in conversation with Harry Cooper (curator and Head of Modern and Contemporary Art, National Gallery of Art). The afternoon was an interesting approach of BM talking about some of his favorites in the collection as well as about a few of his works from the collection as well as the many amazing works from the Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection.

Please note: This video is not the greatest thing you’ve ever seen as I shot this with the camera on my lap – however it is an interesting bit of conversation.

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Some things from the National Gallery (DC)

I did a quick video of the Leo Villareal installation, Multiverse (below). I love this Rachel Whiteread sculpture (above). You can probably tell why – but you’d be wrong. It’s not because of the gridded nature of the work (although there is something to be said for that…) – it’s about the artworks ability to describe space in something that we talk about but never physically define.

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