Ansel Adams, Detail, Gravestone Carving, Susanville, California, 1963
Excerpt from a terrific blog post about a photographer’s encounter with the 1961 U.K. debut of Mark Rothko’s paintings:
Does context matter in this case? Rothko’s works, after all, speak to deeper emotional experiences — those of the unconscious mind. Many first-hand accounts describe quasi-religious encounters with his work, a response Rothko fully intended his viewers to have. Though it may be tempting to read certain contemporary political and other associations into Rothko’s works… was their astonishment simply because Brits had never seen anything like this before?