Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The shapes of Rothko

Yesterday afternoon I found myself trapped in the flat, feeling rather cooped up and calculating how many books I'd read in the last nine years (answer: 488). The atmosphere was getting oppressive and I started to feel like banging my head against the wall. This would have invariably proved counter-productive, so I decided to go to the Tate Modern gallery, to get some fresh air if nothing else.

Unfortunately, I accidentally inhaled some sink unblocking fluid just before I left and, as a result, felt like I was being poisoned by the fresh air. When I got to the Tate Modern, I found myself drawn to a lowly-lit room of Mark Rothko paintings. On a normal day, I feel a bit of an affinity with Rothkos, as we got two free with our flat (originals, natch) - they're propped against the wall, one on each side of the television - but yesterday, the fuzzy, dark blocks of haze somehow particularly epitomised my mood of vague angst and physical sensations of faintness and nausea.

After a short while spent in the company of the nine paintings, I read that they were completed in the late '50s, and were influenced by Michelangelo's oppressive Laurentian Library in Florence. According to Rothko, Michelangelo "achieved just the kind of feeling I'm after - he makes the viewers feel that they are trapped in a room where all the doors and windows are bricked up, so that all they can do is butt their heads forever against the wall".

I go home and eat a couple of scones.

TV in lounge, flanked by Rothkos

4 comments:

Edmund Hardy said...

What are all the blue videos? They appear to have The Day Today at one end, and - is it - Twin Peaks season 1 at the other end? And next to Twin Peaks in the white box, is that a 3 DVD set and if so, is it Godard, Bunuel or Renoir?

Will said...

Yesssssss, I tricked you into thinking I was highbrow with all my fancy art-talk. Correct with the Day Today, then it's a big row of West Wings VHSes, followed by a West Wing DVD set. And the white box? Not Alphaville; not Un Chien Andalou; not La Regle du Jeu. Curb Your Enthusiasm.

gemma said...

keep it monobrow, imo.

ps. will i am addicted, and very grateful for the frequent updates. darren never updates his, have you noticed?

Edmund Hardy said...

Ah yes, damn, I've got a Curb but it's a grey one. Better resolution photo next time, please!