241 Things

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Studium Generale 1000things lectures, The Hague

241 Things

Christopher Rothko reads out the rules that his father, Mark Rothko, formulated in order to make a good work of art, in other words: the recipe for a great work of art, its ingredients, how to make it, its formula.

1 Death

There must be a clear preoccupation with death.

2 Sensuality

It is a lustful relationship to things that exist.

3 Tension

Either conflict or curbed desire.

4 Irony

This is a modern ingredient.

5 Wit and play

For the human element.

6 The ephemeral and chance

Also for the human element.

7 Hope

10%. Just enough to make the tragic more endurable. I think this is an example of my father’s great love of irony, but I think if we take him to seriously we’re in trouble.

Source: Dutch documentary De stilte van Rothko [Rothko's Silence] in which film maker Marojoleine Boonstra interviews Mark Rothko's son and his biographer among others. Worth the watch!