Quotes In Art

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Malevich 'The Black Square' and Rothko 'The Rothko Chapel'




Malevich 'The Black Square' and Rothko 'The Rothko Chapel'

Kasimir Malevich (1878-1935), famous international painter, born in Russia, produced in 1913 strange painting titled ‘The Black Square’, which was exactly black square and nothing more.
It seemed from artistic point of view, and from position of information theory that value of such painting is practically zero, since it could be reproduced by even untrained child after having instruction in just one sentence.


Why this painting became such a well known?
Besides theoretical ideas of art theorists than about associations with forms and colors.
It may be more important that "Malevich always looked upon this work as an icon; in several of his exhibitions, it was hung on a wall at an acute angle as traditional religious images were hung in Russian homes - and at a corner of the room, as if to create a sacred place.

For him it was not just painting but performance – statement about art – do we really need real object?
I would compare the black square with the monitor of a turn-off computer – there are numerous opportunities not known, this is the beginning.
At the same time there is a deep irony of empty object to watch or worship
Malevich lived at a time of revolutions and social upheavals, and he finally died in poverty and
forgotten.

Mark Rothko (1903-1970) American painter born in Russia and definitely well informed about Malevich, received what was once described as one of the last religious commission to a great artist - painting interior of undenominational church in Texas, later known as the Rothko Chapel, finished in 1970.

Standard description of this Chapel didn’t mentioned Kazimir Malevich and his ‘The Black Square’, but interior is a just set of black rectangles facing worshipers.
It looks to be absolutely the same idea, but what was a discovery with irony and political protest to Malevich become business to Rothko representing stability and political conformity.

“Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.”
We can paraphrase this according to our commercial time:
Great art ideas appear twice. First time as a free discovery to benefit humanity, second time as a business to generate profit.

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