Keats once said of nature, “A flower is all, A tree is one and a field is none”. The absence of formal color in the works of Caspar David Freidrich rings true to keats words. We see in the prime romanticist’s works a delineation of color. I argue that Rothko and Nash are true to CDR’s original conception of the sublime yet pull it into the world of abstraction. Or, in Sterne Upps words “The medium sinks into history and time, like a bagel sinks into porridge.”
I met Sterne In the coffee house of paris, and discussed this in late 2003. I will never forget the sense of Rothko’s presence, in the steam coming out of my coffee, reminding me of his great triptych, “Untitled 4”. There was a new fangled tube that hovered above my plate (It being Paris) and it dumped a fresh steaming Baguette. Again this fogged my glasses and continued to make the cafe seem Rothkoesque.
Sterne mused aloud “R,C,N” (Rothko, Caspar and Nash) “R,C,N, changed the whole paradigm. Just as Sartre made me rethink my life, Rothko made me rethink Satre’s writings on life .” He gestured towards two images of Sartre on the walls. One was him inhaling smoke from a Turkish bong pipe and the other was him meditating. “you must understand that Satre and Rothko are like two clumped rhizomes.”
Indeed Mr Sterne, Indeed it was.
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