How many people can say that they have had an encounter with a painting that made them cry right there in a museum or art gallery? Did it happened to be a Mark Rothko painting?
For those of you who don’t know who Rothko was, he was an American painter born into a family of Russian Jewish intellects in 1903. His full name was Markus Yakovlevich Rothkowitz which got abbreviated to Mark Rothko in 1940 due to anti-Semitism. In 1913, he immigrated to America with his Mom and sister, they eventually meet up with his father and 2 brothers in Portland, Oregon. Soon after arriving his father sadly died.
Rothko had a complicated relationship to religion and after mourning the death of his father for almost a year, made a conscious decision to move away from organized religion.
He believed that color was “primal, elemental, pure unconscious emotional resonance and response.”(Meditations on Mark Rothko) This emotional response or experience was the reason why he recommended viewers to position themselves as little as 18 inches away from the canvas to have that experience. He described his paintings as “…not a picture of an experience. It is the experience.” This experience is eventually described as a religious transcendence or spiritual transcendence. The barrier that you find in other paintings is gone when you view one of Rothko’s paintings and become a part of it. It is essentially taking you on a higher plane.
This higher plane is the communication of emotion, that invoke the experiences of grief, ecstasy and destiny. Rothko famously wrote that “The people who weep before my pictures, are having the same religious experiences I had when painting them.”
As seen, his paintings invoked basic human emotions that allowed for the viewer to actually be felt as a human being, in an empathic way. One were the person is listened to and finally understood. It is something that is lacking in today’s world and is needed more and more in a world gone mad.
While there are
perhaps infinite elements which characterize art, none looms so large
in pure expressive power as color. In either exuberant overabundance,
or in limited dramatic palates, color, more than form, line, or
space is the essence of feeling. Much like feeling itself however,
color is also a thing that does not exist independent of its subject
but rather alters its.
In this respect
color is not unlike collage. Through the repurposing of existing
images, collage permits the creation of new subjects and meaning. The
previously banal or benign can take on urgent potency with new
Like an alchemist,
this alteration is the essential power of art. In doing so the artist
can recast the mundane to the sublime, ugliness into beauty…and
also the reverse. In deciding if such such feats of transmutation are
truly possible however, it also a power which the viewer shares.
In the spirit of
these thoughts, here are some colorful subjects for you to consider
this First Friday:
Rainbows and pottery at Spectrum and Carson Culp at Eutectic Gallery
Stephanie Chefas Projects welcomes Yellena Jame’s colorful creations in Immerse
Mixed media and collage by Israel Hughes at Roll-Up Photo Studio + Gallery
Sidestreet Arts presents new collage and mixed media works in All Mixed Up
The Night Gallery at Splendorporium
A Spring Fling at East Creative Collective
A new blog post by Victoria Glanowski on Tetrachromacy
Look forward to
seeing you tonight!
Noah Alexander Isaac
First Friday PDX
SPECTRUM AND CARSON
CULP | EUTECTIC GALLERY
Escape the dreary
Northwest gray and immerse yourself in the eye-popping, candy colored
rainbow of Spectrum. Blair Clemo will join us for the opening
celebration, along with our Back Room artist, Carson Culp. Carson
recently returned from a residency in Japan following an
apprenticeship at Leach Pottery.
6 pm – pm @ 1930 NE Oregon St
IMMERSE | STEPHANIE
Stephanie Chefas Projects is delighted to present Immerse, the latest
exhibition of work from Portland-based artist Yellena James. Prepare
to take a deep plunge into the world of James’ creation, where
ethereal forms overlap amidst a limitless expanse. Rendered in
vibrant color, organic elements thrive within fully conceived
ecosystems, as the collective result essentially swallows the viewer
7 pm – 10 pm @ 305 SE 3rd Ave, Ste 202
ISRAEL HUGHES |
ROLL-UP PHOTO STUDIO + GALLERY
artist and native Oregonian, Israel Hughes presents new mixed media
works that celebrate layers, lines and edges. His intuitive process
and improvisatory style are informed by visual poetry, New York Dada
and a storied history as a theater manager and blues musician.
5 pm – 9 pm @ 1715 SE Spokane St, Portland
ALL MIXED UP |
We’re ”All Mixed
Up” for the month of March … with collage & mixed media
works. Our First Friday Opening offers up fun conversation, delicious
reception munchies and adult beverages. If you like to mingle with
artists and art lovers, you’ll not want to miss this! (Please be 21
years of age to consume the alcohol).
6 pm – 9 pm @ 140 SE
THE NIGHT GALLERY |
Join us for the
Night Gallery Show. Featuring artists Jason Stewart and Troy Hileman.
Also, Ophelia Darkly will be here reading her haunted doll Tarot.
This is going to be a dark, creepy, wonderful evening.
7 pm – 9 pm @ 3421 SE 21st Ave
SPRING FLING | EAST
Spring Fling Art
and Craft is happening at East Creative in conjunction with First
Friday. Frida’s Den will be filled with amazing colorful art and
crafts in addition to our fabulous First Friday open studio event.
Come on down and see what all the fuss is about. Makers, shakers and
artists abound! Plenty of free parking as always. Free Kombucha too.
6 pm – 9 pm @ 211 SE Madison St.
MARCH OPENING |
ANNIE MEYER GALLERY
We are excited to
welcome the Annie Meyer Gallery to the East Side. Come check out the
new location on SE Clinton this Friday!
6 pm – 9 pm @ 2507
SE Clinton St.
HOW MANY GREENS DO
YOU SEE? | VICTORIA GLANOWSKI
“What if I told
you that there is this really cool mutation existing in today’s
world called tetrachromacy. What is tetrachromacy? Tetrachromacy is
“The condition of possessing four independent channels for
conveying color information or possessing four types of cone cell in
the eye.” Basically, a person has an extra cone that allows them to
see the differences in colors that appear identical to others…”
Read the full post
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