“Art is the concrete representation of our most subtle feelings.”
“We favor the simple expression of the complex thought.”
Mark Rothko and Adolph Gottlieb
“My music is the spiritual expression of what I am: my faith, my knowledge, my being.”
“Art, freedom and creativity will change society faster than politics.”
“In my inner soul art and life are inseparable.”
In November 1958, Mark Rothko gave an address to the Pratt Institute. In a tenor unusual for him, he discussed art as a trade and offered “[the] recipe of a work of art—its ingredients—how to make it—the formula.
1. There must be a clear preoccupation with death—intimations of mortality… Tragic art, romantic art, etc., deals with the knowledge of death.
2. Sensuality. Our basis of being concrete about the world. It is a lustful relationship to things that exist.
3. Tension. Either conflict or curbed desire.
4. Irony, This is a modern ingredient—the self-effacement and examination by which a man for an instant can go on to something else.
5. Wit and play… for the human element.
6. The ephemeral and chance… for the human element.
7. Hope. 10% to make the tragic concept more endurable.
I measure these ingredients very carefully when I paint a picture. It is always the form that follows these elements and the picture results from the proportions of these elements.”