Simon Shama's "Power of Art" presentation about Mark Rothko was almost enough to cause me to appreciate once again, as much as I once did, the accomplishments of the American Abstract Expressionists. Certainly I can maintain my conviction that pop culture and the pop artists that followed the Abstract Expressionists were of minor significance to the better angels guiding the planet's painters.
I might as well say it. I despise popular culture so how can I possibly celebrate it in any form.
Jack Tworkov explained to me that he (like Rothko) didn't do what they did for money. Think about it. How can one possibly express the deepest of human emotions, i.e. terror and ecstacy in paint without representational imagry? No one did it better than this group of Americans (often imigrants; Rothko, Tworkov, deKooning, etc.) What a country,eh? Offering the freedom of mind and spirit to all who desire it.
The Midwest Paint Group has returned to representational painting with the profound understanding that we have learned from all serious painting involvments including Abstract Expressionism.
p.s. Shama's intreview in the features menu of the discs is really quite revealing of what a great teacher at Columbia can offer his students.