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Colloquium: Andew Huddleston

Friday, November 11, 2022 - 3:00pm

Cohen 402

Please join us on Friday, November 11th for our Philosophy Department Colloquium with Professor Andrew Huddleston. The event will start at 3pm in room 402 of Cohen Hall, with a reception to follow.
Title: Abstracting the Divine: The Rothko Chapel
Abtract: This paper draws on a wider project of mine considering an important theme in the aesthetic theorizing and art-making of the 19th and 20th centuries. An oft-expressed ambition is that art will somehow step in and play some of the roles of religion. In this talk, I use Mark Rothko's project of a purpose-built 'chapel' in Houston for 14 of his canvases as a case study of this broader theme. I discuss Rothko's surprising denial that he was an 'abstractionist' and his related claims that, in his words, 'there is no such thing as a good painting about nothing' and 'the people who weep before my pictures are having the same religious experience I had when I painted them. And if you, as you say, are moved only by the color relationships, then you miss the point.' In the process, I explore more general issues about the nature of abstraction, expression, and content in visual art.