Without monsters and gods, art cannot enact our drama. When they were abandoned as untenable superstitions, art sank into melancholy.He found an answer in abstraction, trying to paint hope and despair as blocks of color rather than figures from myth. Sometimes, in the right mood, I think I see it. Rothko is also one of those painters whose works create an effect when you see them in person that you cannot get from a photograph. They are layered and look different from different angles, sometimes seeming to be screens behind which you can glimpse divine or infernal realms.
I also kind of like Clifford Still's jagged canvases (above), although the less said about Still and his theories of art, the better.
And Helen Frankelthaler.
But, honestly, I would probably trade the whole lot for one drawing like this one.