NOTEBOOK | 31.5.2015 | Museum Of Contemporary Art | Los Angeles

Kline | McLaughlin | Flavin | Joseph | Sturtevant | Pollock | Rothko

A group of works that I found most impactful on my recent visit to MoCA…

Franz Kline John McLaughlin 1949 Dan Flavin 1969Kahlil Joseph 2014Sturtevant 1961

Pollock, Number One 1949 Pollock 1949MoCA unknown Rothko 1 Rothko 2Book 1960Franz Kline Buttress 1956 – why should black brush marks on white be that good? Some things just are. The John McLaughlin Untitled 1949 has the clean lines of graphic arts, pre-digital age, and still feels fresh. I’ve always had a soft spot for Dan Flavin’s work, like being in the presence of an alien space craft: “monument” for V.Tatlin 1969 has an other-wordly feel. Double Conscience 2014 is a double-screen projection by Kahlil Joseph, this is an arresting film, a simultaneously beautiful and disturbing prism, a psychological description of Black life in America. The Sturtevant canvas Ethelred II 1961 allows us insight into the self-refrencing Sturtevant pre her shift into re-creating other artists work: the cracked-open paint tube an early statement of intent with regard to art and meaning – I went in hating it and came out loving it. On the home-straight, Jackson Pollock’s Number One 1949 and a pair of Mark Rothkos – it was Rothko’s work that originally had a profound impact on my appreciation of art and ultimately inspired me to take up abstract painting. And Pollock, well… it’s Pollock – brings The White Stripes Ball & Biscuits to mind. Pollock, MoCA and LA – I can’t lie – it rocked.

The Thames & Hudson note fell out of my most recent Pollock book purchase while checking the title of the exhibited work – notice the price? Those were the days.

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