Monday, September 25, 2017
Today's birthday. Mark Rothko
September 25, 1903. Mark Rothko (September 25, 1903 - February 25, 1970), was a Russian-American painter. He is classified as an abstract expressionist, although he himself rejected this label, and even resisted classification as an "abstract painter". In this image: A visitor passes three paintings by US-painter Mark Rothko which are on exhibition at the Foundation Beyeler in Riehen, Switzerland, on February 15, 2001.
The angst-driven art of Mark Rothko continues to convey powerful messages long after the heyday of Abstract Expression.
For Mark Rothko, a central figure in the Abstract Expressionist movement that dominated world art in the decades following World War II, painting was all about emotion and spiritual feelings. Despite the formal qualities of his mature works--featuring large rectangles of carefully nuanced hues--Rothko did not consider them in terms of design and color. "There is no such thing as a good painting about nothing," he said. "The subject is crucial and only that subject matter is valid which is tragic and timeless." For this artist it was content, not form, that mattered. May, Stephen. "Rothko: emotion in the abstract.(Mark Rothko)." World and I 13.n7 (July 1998): 110(8). Diversity Studies Collection. Thomson Gale. City College of San Francisco. 12 Oct. 2006
Rothko was part of the New York School, a group of painters including Adolph Gottlieb, Franz Kline, Barnett Newman, and Jackson Pollock that emerged after 1945 as a fresh, new, collective voice in the visual arts. All sought to create art that was free of conventional subject matter yet loaded with meaning. None, however, attacked the challenge of abstract painting with more thought, passion, and innovation than Rothko
Born in Ruddia into an Orthodox Jewish family, he was largely Self-taught. Rothko (1903-1970) emigrated to Portland, Oregon, at the age of ten. After studying on scholar, ship at Yale University for less than two years, he dropped out to attend classes briefly and sporadically at the Art Students League in New York. He considered himself self-taught, although early inspirations came from Expressionist Max Weber (one of his teachers) and Milton Avery, whose broad, simplified areas of glowing color impressed Rothko.
It took him years of work and experiment until he dropped the figure from his painting and began the abstract works by which he is best known. 1949 saw his breakthough to complete abstraction with No 5 (untitled) and No. 13 of Magenta, Black, Green on Orange.
"I am not an abstractionist," Rothko claimed in 1957. "I am not interested in relationships of color or form or anything else. ... I'm interested in expressing basic human emotions--tragedy, ecstasy, doom, and so on."
May, Stephen. "Rothko: emotion in the abstract.(Mark Rothko)." World and I 13.n7 (July 1998): 110(8). Diversity Studies Collection. Thomson Gale. City College of San Francisco. 12 Oct. 2006