On October 8th, a homeless Russian émigré named Vladimir Umanets defaced a Rothko painting hanging in the Tate Modern in London with his name, the year, and the following fragment: A POTENTIAL PIECE OF YELLOWISM. “Black and Maroon” (1958), originally sporting a signature Rothko black rectangle on a signature Rothko maroon field, is valued at around 50 million pounds. The values of Yellowism are a little harder to get a hold of, though there is a Manifesto online, which outlines the aims of the movement with statements that are either obscure or silly, such as: “Every piece of Yellowism is only about yellow and nothing more. … ” and “Interpreting Yellowism as art or being about something other than just yellow deprives Yellowism of its purpose.”
Alexandra Chasin is Associate Professor of Writing at Eugene Lang College, The New School. The author of Selling Out and Kissed By, Chasin holds a 2012 Fiction Fellowship from NYFA. Her latest book — Brief — is about an art vandal. Brief will be out in app form in November and print in early 2013.