With its sophistication and verve, the urbane modernism of Paris and Berlin appeared to both Chagall and Rothko depthtess, passionless, and superficial, devoid of what the Dvinsk native called in his work "measure," the sense of oppositions held in balance.
Long before he left Dvinsk in 1913, Rothko had memorized the Hebraic laws that prohibit the making of iconic images.
Like Rothko's commentary upon Dvinsk, he spoke of Vitebsk in the clear, unshadowed timbres people use when surprised into speaking what is deepest.
The atmosphere of Vitebsk and of Dvinsk in which the artists grew to boyhood was familiar as the opaque brightness you see behind your closed eyelids, and suffocatingly close.
(95.) Regarding King's Law see, e.g., Meir Simcha ha-Kohen of Dvinsk
: "But matters concerning 'God and men' such as .
Mark Rothko is among the artistic geniuses of the 20th century --his roots stem from Latvia, from Dvinsk
(present-day Daugavpils) where he spent part of his childhood."
(12) Rabbi Meir Simha Ha'Kohen of Dvinsk
, Meshekh Hokhmah (Jerusalem: Even Yisrael) Parashat Shmot, p.
"You'll get yourself a new one in America." "Will your mama spank you?" asked a five-year-old girl from Dvinsk
traveling with a deaf grandmother.
(8) Indeed, the Meshekh Hokhmah (Rabbi Meir Simha Hacohen of Dvinsk
, 1843-1926) reads the statement of Genesis 18:27: And Abraham answered and said, 'Behold now I have taken upon me to speak to the Lord, and I am but dust and ashes' as a total surrender of the physical and a return to the natural elements of "dust and ashes."