Archive for November 13th, 2022

Rothko represented

From Daily Rothko on Instagram:

Here’s a pretty well-known quote in context. A part of the context is that it is from Selden Rodman’s book. The telling of it printed here is the most accurate that we’ve got, and perhaps this is relevant as I’m seeing it condensed or misquoted in memes often.

“You might as well get one thing straight,” he said, relaxing, “I’m not an abstractionist.”


“You’re an abstractionist to me,” I said. “You’re a master of color harmonies and relationships on a monumental scale. Do you deny that?”

“I do. I’m not interested in relationships of color or form or anything else. I’m interested only in expressing basic human emotions — tragedy, ecstasy, doom, and so on — and the fact that lots of people break down and cry when confronted with my pictures shows that I communicate those basic human emotions… The people who weep before my pictures are having the same religious experience I had when I painted them. And if you, as you say, are moved only by their color relationships, then you miss the point!” – Selden Rodman, Conversations with Artists.