Thanks to poet Tony Hoagland for sending this wonderful manifesto.


The recipe for a work of art – its ingredients – how to make it – the formula

1. There must be a clear preoccupation with death – intimations of mortality.  Tragic art, romantic art, etc., deals with the knowledge of death.
2. Sensuality.  Our basis of being concrete about the world.  It is a lustful relationship to things that exist.
3. Tension.  Either conflict or curbed desire.

4. Irony.  This is a modern ingredient – the self-effacement and examination by which a man for an instant can go on to something else.
5. Wit and play… for the human element.
6. The ephemeral and chance… for the human element.
7. Hope.  10% to make the tragic concept more endurable.

I measure these ingredients very carefully when I paint a picture.  It is always the form that follows these elements and the picture results from the proportions of these elements.

-Mark Rothko

This entry was posted in Uncategorized by Miriam Sagan. Bookmark the permalink.

About Miriam Sagan

I'm blogging about poetry, land art, haiku, women artists, road trips, and Baba Yaga at Miriam's Well ( The well is ALWAYS looking to publish poetry on our themes, sudden fiction, and guest bloggers and musers.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s