A blog on gigs, music, art and London.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Mark Rothko at Tate Modern

I went to see the current Mark Rothko exhibition at Tate Modern on Friday evening. It focuses on his late work and in particular his 'series' of paintings, with his Seagram murals forming the centrepiece.

Time Out's slightly puzzling review had made me approach the exhibition with caution but overall I enjoyed it thoroughly. It begins in educational fashion showing smaller works which were the basis of his larger paintings. The Seagram murals dominate as expected, with their ambiguously delineated, visceral oblongs of colour resonating in emphatic style, the dim lighting projecting a hushed reverence over the room (despite the high numbers in attendance).

We then go back to delving deeper into Rothko's paintings as the exhibition shows how he layered his work. His reflective, strangely involving 'Black Form' paintings follow soon after. I sometimes like to think what paintings would sound like if they were music and Rothko's art to me brings to mind instrumental post-rock. Labradford's Mi Media Naranja, possibly.

The exhibition finishes with Rothko's 'Black On Grey' paintings which seem to have a lunar quality, although the black does bring an oppressive characteristic to the room. The slightly barren sense of serenity that these paintings possess seems to provide a fitting contrast to the colour of the earlier works.

After leaving the exhibition I walked over Blackfriars Bridge to check out the art installation by Keith Bowler, which is part of the Drift 08 exhibition - the old railway bridge being recreated with green lasers which looked beautiful in the dark of the night.


Asobi Seksu 'Citrus'
The Uglysuit 'The Uglysuit'

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