Fun with art history

June 7, 2011 at 8:59 pm (Uncategorized)

I never, ever, do this. But Siouxsielaw put me up to it.
And given that I’m nothing if not sophisticated, who am I to say no?

And so, my contribution to Red and Black Week is…

…Barnett Newman’s fantastic Achilles, from 1952.

Now, I know exactly what all my art history peeps are thinking, and I can hear you grinding your teeth from here. That dark outline of the shape isn’t really black. It’s thin layers of red near the border where the two colors meet over a dense, dark, brown/blue/black, with the layered dark color continuing to the edges; it’s not a flat black. See? I know this. And all of that subtlety is lost in the reproduction. Yes. But for this purpose? Seriously, it’s ok. I talked to Barnett. He gave me the thumbs up.

Plus also, there’s Mark Rothko:

Light Red over Black, 1957

Rothko was a cat-lover who killed himself. Come on. That’s pretty goth.

Or there’s Yayoi Kusama, Passing Winter, 2009:

Come on. Kusama is like, beyond goth. She’s so goth, it isn’t even funny.

Anyway. Sorry, Siouxsielaw, that was the best I could do.



  1. siouxsieL said,

    Yay Amy!

    Kusama is incredible. I hadn’t seen her stuff before. I just googled her, and I am in absolute awe. Her hair and her obsession with dots is amazing. I love this photo of her though it isn’t black and red.

    I didn’t know that about Rothko. Now when I look at his prints, all I can see are cats.

  2. VictorianKitty said,

    Lol! This post made me giggle. 🙂 Thanks for participating in Red & Black Week!!

    Sophistique Noir – It’s Red & Black Week!

  3. amywilson said,

    @VictorianKitty – Yay! I’m glad.

    @Siouxsielaw – Kusama is a favorite. As for Rothko… I wasn’t really a fan, until I started teaching Abstract Expressionism, and then I had this sort of intense “aha!” moment. But I have searched for years for this photograph that I saw of him when I was in college. It was him standing, playing with one of his cats with a piece of string. It was reproduced in an Art in America, I think, although it could have been another art magazine. The caption was something like, “Rothko with cat. Shortly after this picture was taken, he killed himself.” Totally not meant to be funny or sick or anything, but I remember laughing a lot after I saw it, and then feeling really bad.

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