Mark Rothko

"Blue, Green and Brown" 1951

"Untitled (Black and Orange)" 1950

I was a kid when I came across the work of Mark Rothko. A dorky kid who spent too much time in the library, studying up on the graphic arts and art history. I remember seeing the work of Mark Rothko in a book and being confused. I didn’t understand it’s appeal, or why and how fields of color could ever be considered art. It wasn’t long before I found myself in front of Rothko’s artwork in person, and I knew.

Standing in front of Rothko’s work, for me at least, is about as close to a sacred experience as I get. How is that for cheese? But it’s true! When I see his huge paintings in person, the rest of the world drops away and time stops. How to put it into words? The work of Mark Rothko reduces nature to it’s most fundamental essence. The colors and texture hypnotize. Reality is peeled back, exposing the universe at it most basic and eternal level. It is like watching the big bang and beginning of everything. Or maybe it is entropy and heat death. It could be like standing on the event horizon, losing yourself in the gravitational pull of pure color. Or maybe it’s the void. Could be it’s not like any of those things at all. But I do know the artwork is amazing, beautiful and tragic.

"Untitled (Violet, Black, Orange, Yellow on White and Red)" 1941

“When I was a younger man, art was a lonely thing. No galleries, no collectors, no critics, no money. Yet, it was a golden age, for we all had nothing to lose and a vision to gain. Today it is not quite the same. It is a time of tons of verbiage, activity, consumption. Which condition is better for the world at large I shall not venture to discuss. But I do know, that many of those who are driven to this life are desperately searching for those pockets of silence where we can root and grow. We must all hope we find them.”

– Mark Rothko

www.rothkochapel.org

www.nga.gov/feature/rothko

www.youtube.com | Schama’s Power of Art: Mark Rothko, Pt. 1

Sketch for Seagrims “Mural No.1″, 1958

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