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Erin Burke

As we continue our theme on Mark Rothko, we reflect on fragility and Rothko’s ability to channel the feelings which unite us all as humans, through his paintings.  

That feeling after you find out something’s happened—something that you didn’t see coming in that ‘ordinary instant,’ a la Joan Didion in The Year of Magical Thinking, and suddenly you are crushed by it’s weight.  When you’re whole world comes crumbling down and there you lay for a moment in awe of it all.  How quickly things change:  The whole world looks different, you are numb and you quietly try to lift your head.  It feels like bombs are exploding and volcanos erupting and there, the gentle music playing over them when you revisit those moments in your mind. 

The wings of an insect, so delicate in their veins.  A hummingbird flailing at impenetrable speeds softly suspended in the air.  Life hangs in a balance of fragility, relationships live there too.  With one swift move, life as we know it can end or begin or move in a million different directions. And like a beautiful balancing act that ebbs and flows into a symphony— our bodies, our relationships, our world all such miracles exist in this truly fragile balance against the backdrop of the universe.

Fabrics like chiffon, batiste and voile share this sense of fragility and they were beautifully displayed this season.


Photo credit: explosion, model from Lucas Nascimento SS15, Mark Rothko paintings top left, middle, right, bottom right, bottom left, moth photo by David Korte

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