POTD: Mark and the Moon

Mark and the Moon
American Prairie, Montana

I read an article in the Washington Post recently titled “This once-in-a-generation Rothko exhibition is spellbinding“. I was amused, perhaps a bit bemused even, reading the author’s gushing enthusiasm for Rothko’s color field paintings. Myself, I find them certainly eye-catching (which they are to some degree simply because they tend to be huge), very colorful (of course), and perhaps surprisingly (to me anyway), pretty memorable given their somewhat excessive simplicity. If you ask me to quickly name one notable exhibit room at the National Gallery of Art in D.C., the Rothko room in the east building would immediately come to mind. They are not at all my favorite works at the National Gallery, but some of the most memorable nonetheless.  So, it is not surprising that, even though he would never have put something so literal as a moon in his paintings, he came immediately to mind just now when I was going through my photos from our trip to American Prairie last month and came to this sunset photo. If you also saw this photo and immediately thought of Rothko (perhaps after making note of the image title but without reading all this description), then you know what I’m talking about when I say his paintings are memorable if nothing else.

4 thoughts on “POTD: Mark and the Moon”

  1. sejohnson210@gmail.com

    Thanks, most days I forget more than I knew. Rothko, a person/term I didn’t know. (Or already forgot). 🙂

    1. Sometimes I hear some factoid about something and I don’t know for sure if I’m hearing it for the first time or if I’d heard it before and forgot. Every day’s a new day, even when it isn’t!

  2. This is an exquisite sunset photo! I love the smooth, gradual change from midnight blue to deep orange. I think it goes one better than Rothko, because what I remember of his paintings are that the colors are in blocks instead of gradations. The moon is a nice resting place for the eye. 🙂

    1. Thanks Kathy. I agree that Rothko painted more in blocks than gradations; in fact he was known as a color field painter. But he certainly didn’t use “blockiness” to the extreme that other color field painters like Mondrian used. Instead there were degrees of gradations around the edge of his blocks.

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