Rothko Vrs. Pollock

Repent! The world is coming to an end! And so it would seem that the abstract expressionists like Pollock who looked at their world and saw the cold end coming turned their art into manifestations of that world-view. The nuclear age from 1945 till his death in 1956 influenced his output. Nothing really had permanence or meaning; everything was hidden. Nothing would last. Stand above the canvas and drip and flick and then extrapolate meaning and give it to the art world then starved for something new and iconoclastic. I look at a Pollock and worry that experts see a real meaning where he himself saw nothing.

No form, no space, no color. A bleak canvas with lines going anywhere and nowhere gleaning interpretation from a crafty, greedy art world duping its patrons with lofty expressions of the insight only it could provide. So-called experts fooling themselves and fooling others into accepting such drivel as precocious work only the cognoscenti would see revealed. A charlatan playing the pipe for wannabes.

Rothko, on the other hand, saw a similar evil world but used form and space and color to interpret that evil into an epitaph at once revealing its emotion and tugging at the viewer, drawing that viewer into the work with both eyes and heart. One cries when looking at the work. And cries even more when the realisation sets in that the richer the color, the further down the hole of empty depression Rothko sank. An inglorious but inevitable end to a life wasted as a human being but ever-living as an artist. No meaningless drippings here! Rothko presents the viewer with his soul.

This editorial was written by Peter Melonas, a friend of the gallery.

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