"Pictures must be miraculous." - Mark Rothko

Reminder! Exam 1 must be submitted by 11:59 PM!!!
Jean Dubuffet, Wall With Inscriptions, 1945.











Vir Heroicus Sublimis

Barnett Newman, Vir Heroicus Sublimis (Man, Heroic and Sublime), 1950 - 1951. approx. 8' X 18'.























Barnett Newman, Vir Heroicus Sublimis (Man, Heroic and Sublime), 1950 - 51. approx. 8' X 18'












Vir Heroicus Sublimis

Viewers absorbing Vir Heroicus Sublimis









Mark Rothko, Untitled, 1956.












Green and Tangerine

Mark Rothko, Green and Tangerine on Red, 1956.


A Rothko painting "is not a picture of an experience, it is an experience." - Rothko admirer
























Mark Rothko

Pink Yellow

Mark Rothko, 1961
Mark Rothko, Red, Orange, Tan, and  Purple, 1949.












Sublime = lofty, grand or exalted in thought, expression or manner; of outstanding spiritual, intellectual or moral worth; tending to inspire awe usually because of elevated quality
Epiphany = an appearance or manifestation of a divine being; a sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something; an intuitive grasp of reality through something usually simple and striking

Monk by the Sea

"Instead of making cathedrals out of Christ , man or life, we are making them out of ourselves, out of our own feelings." - Barnett Newman
Caspar David Friedrich, Monk by the Sea, 1808 - 1809.











Mark Rothko, Seagram Murals, 1958 - 1960.











Rothko Chapel

Mark Rothko, Paintings inside the Rothko Chapel, 1964.











Barnett Newman, Broken Obelisk outside the Rothko Chapel (one of four), 1963 - 1967.


"Meditation and Modern Art Meet in the Rothko Chapel"

More on the Rothko Trial










Historic Context

Joseph McCarthy

1950 - 1953 Korean War - America combats the global expansion of Communism with inconclusive results
1950 - 1957 "McCarthy Era" - Senator Joseph Mc Carthy leads wide scale attack hoping to reveal and discredit Communists in America
1951 J.D. Salinger publishes The Catcher in the Rye
1952 Arthur Miller's The Crucible
1952 - 1960 "Eisenhower Era"
1954 William Golding publishes The Lord of the Flies
1954 - 1955 J. R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series published
1955 Polio vaccine introduced to the public
  Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat on a bus for a white man
Library of Congress, Senator Joseph McCarthy, 1954.
1957 Soviet Union launches first artificial satelite, Sputnik into space
1958 - 1960 The Great Leap Forward, an attempt by Mao Zedong to stimulate China's economic development with the creation of huge rural communes was a failure and was partially responsible for an enormous famine in which several million people died.
1959 Fidel Castro overthrows Batista's regime in Cuba and establishes communist government
  Vietnam War begins











L'art Informel
a.k.a. Tachisme = french for stain
It's All in the City
Characterized by:
Spontaneous brushwork, drips, blobs and
calligraphic scribbling
Suggested the body, or the presence of it
Existential consciousness
American critics saw European art of the 40s and 50s as bound and restricted by the tradition of belle peinture = the idea of the painting as being a beautiful and luxurious object, a bed of delight for the senses
Wols, It's All Over the City,  1947.











Wols, Blue Phantom, 1951.











l'informe = anti form


Bataille called for the embrace of the repellent,
the excessive and the bodily in art
Countered the idealism he saw in Cubism and Surrealism
"Man goes constantly in fear of himself. His erotic urges terrify him."
Georges Bataille