I am not the biggest fan of Mark Rothko. It's one of the reasons I haven't written about the Rothkos in the Anderson yet. There are a lot of Abstract Expressionists who get called Color Field painters, like Morris and Frankenthaler and Barnett Newman, but Rothko. Man, Rothko.
It's not that his stuff isn't interesting, but the fact is, it just doesn't move me the way the Frankenthaler across the way, or that awesome Louis, or even an average Motherwell does. To me, the only time previous to my last visit to the SFMoMA relied on the power of lighting, as the pieces, about a dozen of them, were hung off the walls via wires, and lit with a single spot from the floor, making them epic, with a highlight. That moved me, even though they were the simple hazy-edged canvases that you could see in MoMA.
Then there was the untitled piece above, from 1947. I discovered it on my last trip to the SFMoMA and can not help but love it. This would be post biomorphic Rothko, but pre-true color field work. It's a large canvas, but there is a sense of weight in this that is unnerving, as if the heaviest portion is rising, ready to crash down at any moment. There is a sense of Clyfford Still, of that controlled chaos defining a sort of map, that each color zone is an autonomous entity.
This one, this moved me.
Christopher J Garcia - Curator, Fan Writer, Podcaster, and a guy who just loves art.