Washington Color School Dropout

I was talking shop with Tyler Green this weekend, and he told me that the Washington Post's art critic Blake Gopnik actually did devote more than a paragraph in a review of two unrelated shows at a different museum to the National Gallery's extraordinary exhibition of Mark Rothko's black paintings. They're incredible works, and the installation the East Wing's skylit Tower Gallery is both beautiful and bold, and not just because they break with art world convention by continuously playing Morton Feldman's related, minimalist composition, Rothko Chapel in the gallery.

But yeah, no, I still couldn't find anything more than a cursory mention in a slight, "big picture" piece about monochrome painting in DC. For once, though, it's not Gopnik that got under my skin.

It's the arts editors [sic] at the Washington Post who, in 2010, not only published a sloppily argued, clichée-ridden letter about shows at Washington's top three museums--the National Gallery or Art, the Hirshhorn Museum, and the Phillips Collection--which the obviously hadn't seen. They managed to write a headline that matched the letter for proudly ignorant bluster:

My kids could match these color-crazed artists

Saturday, June 12, 2010; A13

I read with much interest Blake Gopnik's review of new exhibits at the Phillips Collection [Arts & Style, June 6].

I can't help but compare the artists' work with that produced by some artists very close to me. While Mark Rothko's blacks at the National Gallery invite "deep immersion and profound explanation" and Yves Klein's blues at the Hirshhorn are about an "astonishing gesture of reduction," my sons' graphite on blue-lined white backgrounds invite profound explanation about the astonishing number of orcs a person can depict being killed in one scene.

It's almost enough to make me feel sympathy for Gopnik, who actually has to work with these philistines. Or at least it helps explain some of his Corky St. Clair-isms.

Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

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about this archive

Posts from May 2016, in reverse chronological order

Older: April 2016

recent projects, &c.

Chop Shop
curated by Magda Sawon
1-7 March 2016

eBay Test Listings
Mar – Dec 2015
about | proposte monocrome, rose

It Narratives, incl.
Shanzhai Gursky & Destroyed Richter
Franklin Street Works, Stamford
Sept 5 - Nov 9, 2014
about | link

TheRealHennessy Tweets Paintings, 2014 -

Standard Operating Procedure
about | buy now, 284pp, $15.99

CZRPYR2: The Illustrated Appendix
Canal Zone Richard Prince
YES RASTA 2:The Appeals Court
Decision, plus the Court's
Complete Illustrated Appendix (2013)
about | buy now, 142pp, $12.99

"Exhibition Space"
Mar 20 - May 8 @apexart, NYC

HELP/LESS Curated by Chris Habib
Printed Matter, NYC
Summer 2012
panel &c.

Destroyed Richter Paintings, 2012-
background | making of
"Richteriana," Postmasters Gallery, NYC

Canal Zone Richard
Selected Court Documents
from Cariou v. Prince (2011)
about | buy now, 376pp, $17.99