Log24

Friday, December 16, 2016

Rothko’s Swamps

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 2:45 AM

"… you don’t write off an aging loved one
just because he or she becomes cranky."

— Peter Schjeldahl on Rothko in The New Yorker ,
issue dated December 19 & 26, 2016, page 27

He was cranky in his forties too —

See Rothko + Swamp in this journal.

Related attitude —

From Subway Art for Times Square Church , Nov. 7

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Like Decorations in a Cartoon Graveyard

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 4:00 AM

Continued from April 11, 2016, and from

A tribute to Rothko suggested by the previous post

For the idea  of Rothko's obstacles, see Hexagram 39 in this journal.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Memory, History, Geometry

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 9:48 AM

These are Rothko's Swamps .

See a Log24 search for related meditations.

For all three topics combined, see Coxeter —

" There is a pleasantly discursive treatment 
of Pontius Pilate’s unanswered question
‘What is truth?’ "

— Coxeter, 1987, introduction to Trudeau’s
     The Non-Euclidean Revolution

Update of 10 AM ET —  Related material, with an elementary example:

Posts tagged "Defining Form." The example —

IMAGE- Triangular models of the 4-point affine plane A and 7-point projective plane PA

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Thursday April 22, 2004

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 10:07 PM

Minimalism

"It's become our form of modern classicism."

— Nancy Spector in 
   the New York Times of April 23, 2004

Part I: Aesthetics

In honor of the current Guggenheim exhibition, "Singular Forms" — A quotation from the Guggenheim's own website

"Minimalism refers to painting or sculpture

  1. made with an extreme economy of means
  2. and reduced to the essentials of geometric abstraction….
  3. Minimalist art is generally characterized by precise, hard-edged, unitary geometric forms….
  4. mathematically regular compositions, often based on a grid….
  5. the reduction to pure self-referential form, emptied of all external references….
  6. In Minimal art what is important is the phenomenological basis of the viewer’s experience, how he or she perceives the internal relationships among the parts of the work and of the parts to the whole….
  7. The repetition of forms in Minimalist sculpture serves to emphasize the subtle differences in the perception of those forms in space and time as the spectator’s viewpoint shifts in time and space."

Discuss these seven points
in relation to the following:

 
Form,
by S. H. Cullinane

Logos and Logic

Mark Rothko's reference
to geometry as a "swamp"
and his talk of "the idea" in art

Michael Kimmelman's
remarks on ideas in art 

Notes on ideas and art

Geometry
of the 4×4 square

The Grid of Time

ART WARS:
Judgment Day
(2003, 10/07)

Part II: Theology

Today's previous entry, "Skylark," concluded with an invocation of the Lord.   Of course, the Lord one expects may not be the Lord that appears.


 John Barth on minimalism:

"… the idea that, in art at least, less is more.

It is an idea surely as old, as enduringly attractive and as ubiquitous as its opposite. In the beginning was the Word: only later came the Bible, not to mention the three-decker Victorian novel. The oracle at Delphi did not say, 'Exhaustive analysis and comprehension of one's own psyche may be prerequisite to an understanding of one's behavior and of the world at large'; it said, 'Know thyself.' Such inherently minimalist genres as oracles (from the Delphic shrine of Apollo to the modern fortune cookie), proverbs, maxims, aphorisms, epigrams, pensees, mottoes, slogans and quips are popular in every human century and culture–especially in oral cultures and subcultures, where mnemonic staying power has high priority–and many specimens of them are self-reflexive or self-demonstrative: minimalism about minimalism. 'Brevity is the soul of wit.' "


Another form of the oracle at Delphi, in minimalist prose that might make Hemingway proud:

"He would think about Bert.  Bert was an interesting man.  Bert had said something about the way a gambler wants to lose.  That did not make sense.  Anyway, he did not want to think about it.  It was dark now, but the air was still hot.  He realized that he was sweating, forced himself to slow down the walking.  Some children were playing a game with a ball, in the street, hitting it against the side of a building.  He wanted to see Sarah.

When he came in, she was reading a book, a tumbler of dark whiskey beside her on the end table.  She did not seem to see him and he sat down before he spoke, looking at her and, at first, hardly seeing her.  The room was hot; she had opened the windows, but the air was still.  The street noises from outside seemed almost to be in the room with them, as if the shifting of gears were being done in the closet, the children playing in the bathroom.  The only light in the room was from the lamp over the couch where she was reading.

He looked at her face.  She was very drunk.  Her eyes were swollen, pink at the corners.  'What's the book,' he said, trying to make his voice conversational.  But it sounded loud in the room, and hard.

She blinked up at him, smiled sleepily, and said nothing.

'What's the book?'  His voice had an edge now.

'Oh,' she said.  'It's Kierkegaard.  Soren Kierkegaard.' She pushed her legs out straight on the couch, stretching her feet.  Her skirt fell back a few inches from her knees.  He looked away.

'What's that?' he said.

'Well, I don't exactly know, myself."  Her voice was soft and thick.

He turned his face away from her again, not knowing what he was angry with.  'What does that mean, you don't know, yourself?'

She blinked at him.  'It means, Eddie, that I don't exactly know what the book is about.  Somebody told me to read it once, and that's what I'm doing.  Reading it.'

He looked at her, tried to grin at her — the old, meaningless, automatic grin, the grin that made everbody like him — but he could not.  'That's great,' he said, and it came out with more irritation than he had intended.

She closed the book, tucked it beside her on the couch.  She folded her arms around her, hugging herself, smiling at him.  'I guess this isn't your night, Eddie.  Why don't we have a drink?'

'No.'  He did not like that, did not want her being nice to him, forgiving.  Nor did he want a drink.

Her smile, her drunk, amused smile, did not change.  'Then let's talk about something else,' she said.  'What about that case you have?  What's in it?'  Her voice was not prying, only friendly, 'Pencils?'

'That's it,' he said.  'Pencils.'

She raised her eyebrows slightly.  Her voice seemed thick.  'What's in it, Eddie?'

'Figure it out yourself.'  He tossed the case on the couch."

— Walter Tevis, The Hustler, 1959,
    Chapter 11


See, too, the invocation of Apollo in

A Mass for Lucero, as well as 

GENERAL AUDIENCE OF JOHN PAUL II
Wednesday 15 January 2003
:

"The invocation of the Lord is relentless…."

and

JOURNAL ENTRY OF S. H. CULLINANE
Wednesday 15 January 2003
:

Karl Cullinane —
"I will fear no evil, for I am the
meanest son of a bitch in the valley."

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Tuesday February 25, 2003

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 1:44 AM

Song of Not-Self

A critic on the abstract expressionists:

"…they painted that reality — that song of self — with a passion, bravura, and decisiveness unequaled in modern art."

Painter Mark Rothko:

"I don't express myself in painting. 
 I express my not-self."

On this day in 1957, Buddy Holly and his group recorded the hit version of "That'll Be the Day."

On this day in 1970, painter Mark Rothko committed suicide in his New York City studio.

On February 27, 1971, the Rothko Chapel was formally dedicated in Houston, Texas.

On May 26, 1971, Don McLean recorded "American Pie."

Rothko was apparently an alcoholic; whether he spent his last day enacting McLean's lyrics I do not know.

Rothko is said to have written that

"The progression of a painter's work, as it travels in time from point to point, will be toward clarity: toward the elimination of all obstacles between the painter and the idea, and between the idea and the observer. As examples of such obstacles, I give (among others) memory, history or geometry, which are swamps of generalization from which one might pull out parodies of ideas (which are ghosts) but never an idea in itself. To achieve this clarity is, inevitably, to be understood."

— Mark Rothko, The Tiger's Eye, 1, no. 9 (October 1949), p. 114

Whether Holly's concept "the day that I die" is a mere parody of an idea or "an idea in itself," the reader may judge.  The reader may also judge the wisdom of building a chapel to illustrate the clarity of thought processes such as Rothko's in 1949.  I personally feel that someone who can call geometry a "swamp" may not be the best guide to religious meditation.

For another view, see this essay by Erik Anderson Reece.

Powered by WordPress