to celebrate my coming of age. I bought a train ticket in advance and the evening before i had a friend
around who brought me a bottle of jenever (Dutch gin) which we bravely emptied for the best part. I only had a
few hours of sleep. On my birthday i decided to skip my breakfast to catch the earliest train to Cologne. I
thought i’d have a nap in the train and a cheese sandwich, but i couldn’t sleep and the sandwich made me
almost sick. So, more dead than alive i arrived in Cologne where i dragged myself straight to the Ludwig and to Rothko.
It was one of the best experiences in my life and i forgot my hangover and the fact that i had come
of age at last. There were lots of people, but as i remember them, they were all very polite. Sometimes i
even had the idea i was Moses, they were the Red Sea and the Rothko’s were the Promised Land. That only changed
when Markus Lüpertz entered the room. Obviously he was the real Moses. I can’t stand Moses ever since. After Rothko i
saw the rest of the museum which took me quite a few hours. It all made me very hungry and, being
in Cologne, i expected to have a hearty meal with Schweinefleisch (German pork) in the museum restaurant. But, well, all they had
on offer was some tasteless pasta with a few shreds of pork (i think they even called it carbonara). To say it
in post-postmodern language: i problematized the greatness of Rothko related to this ambiguous meal. I took the train back to The
Hague and got out at Eindhoven as in those days they had an excellent station buffet there where i ate chicken and chips.
In between Eindhoven and The Hague i slept at last and dreamt about Rothko’s paintings. Late in the evening, back in
my local pub, i drank the jenever i missed the evening before. Ah, that was Rothko in 1988! Nowadays i don’t
drink much and today i enjoyed the present Rothko exhibition in the Gemeentemuseum a lot. The presentation is better than the one
in the Ludwig 26/27 years ago. Except that the other visitors today didn’t behave like the Red Sea and except for the
combination with Mondrian in the last room. Yes Gemeentemuseum, we KNOW you are THE Mondrian museum in this world. And when
i saw that ridiculously big frame around Victory Boogie-woogie, i really had the idea the world might look better with a few jenevers.
[Click on the pictures to enlarge]