As members of the New York School of painters, Barnett Newman and Mark Rothko announced not only the passing away of an entire creation but also the bringing forth of a new one. Though unaware that they were living and painting in the City of the Covenant whose light would one day rise from darkness and decay to envelop the world even as their painting of light consciously arose from the void of a blank canvas, Newman’s and Rothko’s work may nevertheless be best understood as a powerful first evidence of what Bahá’u’lláh called “the rising Orb of Divine Revelation, from behind the veil of concealment.” Their work may yet find its true spiritual location in the spiritual city founded by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá on his visit to New York in 1912.
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Copyright © 1991 Ross Woodman