On Thursday I saw the Byzantium exhibition, and today the Rothko. The ultimate in bright, shiny, intricate, infinitely various complexity and the ultimate in subtle simplicity. And the opposites, of course, meet and meld. No simplicity more complex than Rothko's.
That the Rothko has been on since September and ends tomorrow well indicates the level of energy I've been mustering in recent months beyond what's required to do the essential, hold together something that looks like a functioning person. I wish I'd gone earlier, because I took such comfort in his canvases, especially the Black-Form paintings.
Reducing Rothko to a single narrative or metaphor would be a sorry and impoverished view. I didn't, don't. Every moment they are something else. But still, hard not to see the black paintings, especially, as depicting sadness or depression; such a beautiful and heartening depiction, since they are as full of movement, complexity and life as his reds and oranges, a powerful reassurance that the dark too is life, not static, not nothing. This is meditation on pain: the more you look right into it, the more it moves and ebbs and flows and suddenly, momentarily, lets in light.
canal-side statues at King's Place