Mark Rothko

Thus Spake Still
February 08, 2012

Clyfford Still Museum Denver, Colorado I have never been strongly attracted to the feverish visionary heights that can be reached by a prophetic voice. Of course I feel the power of the Book of Lamentations, and Michelangelo’s Last Judgment, and Wagner’s Ring, and Blake’s apocalyptic extravaganzas. But there are other registers that touch me more deeply, or at least more directly. I think a convincing argument can be made that the prophetic mode does not come naturally to the visual artist, surely not to the visual artist in the modern world.

April 28, 2010

Red, the play starring Alfred Molina as Mark Rothko, is bombastic stuff. Molina, bald and bespectacled, stalks around the stage like an angry drill sergeant. When he barks out profundities about the tragic nature of art, he might as well be ordering the privates to clean the latrines. Actually, there is only one private around. That’s the fresh-faced actor Eddie Redmayne, who plays Rothko’s studio assistant, Ken. And for much of the interminable 90 minutes Red takes to go nowhere in particular, Ken cheerfully swallows whatever Rothko dishes out.