"Rothko says that his pictures have two characteristics: either they dilate and then open up in all directions, or they contract and then close up precipitately on all sides. Between these two poles lies everything he has to say.
Rothko's change, his passage almost without transition, to an immediate, definitive form. It is there all at once, perfectly mastered, end of story. And it is light-years away from what he was doing up to that point.
This is something entirely different from an evolution - even a creative evolution. It is an almost genetic impulse by which he separates himself miraculously from the artist he still was, with his place in the history of art, to be nothing but the sovereign medium of an extremely simple form, which no longer has anything to do with expressionism or abstraction." (Cool Memories IV 84-85)
The emergent form stuns you with its simplicity. And perhaps the most surprising thing is that, during our earthly existence, in which our brains are bound with bands of steel - the tightly-fitting dream of our own personality - we did not by chance give that little shake which would have freed the imprisoned thought and procured for it the ultimate understanding.(Nabokov)
"Does not everyone have within them this potential mutation, this potential development? This absolute singularity which asks only to be effortlessly produced" (CM IV 85) - an transpired form that has sloughed off our individual yoke?
Didi Fancher: I think you want this Rothko. Pricey. But yes. You totally need to have it.
Didi: It will remind you that you're alive. You have something in you that's receptive to the mysteries.
Eric: The mysteries?
Didi: Don't you see yourself in every picture you love? You feel a radiance wash through you. It's something you can't analyze or speak about clearly. ... But it makes you feel alive in the world. It tells you you're here. And yes, you have a range of being that's deeper and sweeter than you knew.(C 30)
If you look awhile at a Rothko and then look at a white wall, you will see a negative after-image. An inversion of color, so I have left white beside these images so you can do it. Then when you see a real one, try it.
Other Rothko blog of mine