Monday, July 02, 2007

Rothko and Urbino

Alice has been thinking about contrasts. How the time of day and weather changes the view at Pika's apartment. Different times, different worlds.
She sat all by herself one Saturday morning in the Rothko Room at the Phillips Museum. Couldn't decide if she liked it or not. Kept going back and forth. It's supposed to be all about walls of color. Waves of it washing over you, voiding everything else out. But, she kept thinking while sitting there about the one window in the room, how its light slanted on the walls. How - let's face it - just about any first grader could paint a "rothko". Would you want a room of "rothkos" in your house? Would you rather spend time there or in a little Japanese tea house looking out on a Zen garden with birds and bees working nearby flowers?
And, let's really face it: the museum with the Rothko Room does not allow dogs inside. Poo on them! Woof! Humpf.
She also spent some time alone at the Met's studiolo of the Duke of Urbino. It, too, had a little window Alice liked to imagine looking out of it as if the room was still at the Gubbio palace in Italy She said she'd worry about the little wooden inlays warping and popping out. It struck her as just a tad pretentious. "Look at me and my costly room detailing all my intellectual, military, and ruling pursuits!" A Master of the Universe kind of place. Still, have to hand it to him - he had style and was comfortable in his own skin, broken nose from jousting and all.
Alice saw a picture of Mrs. Urbino at the Gardner a few days later. She had a very short life. Done in by childbirth or perhaps the plague. No one really knows. Alice couldn't help but think about her hairstyle which it seems, a certain Princess Leia and her Mother also favored.
Funny isn't it? We hardly remember today what the Urbinos did other than the art they commissioned.