I just visited the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, where I saw, among other things, a couple of Rothko paintings and a Barnett Newman. Maybe that’s why this installment of the continuing Yellowstone day is more colorful than previous ones (see parts one and two).
Kazimir Malevich painted his Black Square in 1915, and it was soon followed by White on White. I had thought this was pretty radical, but I’ve just been reading of three earlier works along similar lines, created by Alphonse Allais in the 1880’s. Alas, no images seem to be available on the web, but I’ve approximately re-created them from descriptions in Kirk Varnedoe’s Mellon Lectures.
I guess it’s natural for a photographer working in black and white to notice where things fall on the continuum between the two. Though all shades of gray are lovable, it’s more the extremes that seem to win my heart. It’s the attraction of pure yin and yang. It’s therefore a special delight when winter brings a reversal of this duality in one of my favorite subjects, namely streams and their ilk. Once there’s snow on the ground and ice forming on the bank, the water itself turns dark, just the opposite of the typical summer pattern of white water amid dark rocks or ground. Since a trip a couple months back along a local stream after the first big snowfall, I’ve been contemplating a series I tentatively called Black water. The early images didn’t seem especially promising, but I never found time to take a good crack at it.