Friday, November 16, 2012
On True Love
I was talking the other day with a coworker about the artists you first discover, and fall in love with, on your own when you're a young person. How some (Klimt, perhaps, or Rossetti) are tastes you later grow out of. But how a few persist and eventually you realize that these are lifelong love affairs. For me these are all Midcentury abstract painters. I've mentioned here before how much I dig classic Abstract Expressionism. And, credit where credit is due--the first artist whose work I independently discovered and fell for, all on my own, was Wassily Kandinsky. I remember pouring over an old art book of his paintings that I got somewhere for hours on end when I was in junior high.
Another such enduring artist schwarm of mine is with Mark Rothko--likely started by what remains to this day one of my all-time favorite paintings, No. 14, 1960, a piece in the permanent collection of the SFMOMA that, when you stand it front of it, positively glows (interesting fact I discovered while pulling up images for this post: this Rothko is by far the museum's most photographed work of art, something they demonstrate to very pleasing effect here).
And then there's Josef Albers, another dude whose work has been making a happy home in my consciousness for nearly as long as I've been aware there was such a thing as art or artists or paintings or painters, and which I still crush on to this very day. (Full, slightly embarrassing, disclosure--from the ages of about three to about thirteen I consistently and passionately answered the question of what I wanted to be when I grew up with the answer "an artist." This to me meant driving around the country in a motorhome painting pictures on an easel. Oh, and I would also have my horse with me. Naturally.)