Portfolio of older work

Friday, August 5, 2016

Three More Mark Rothko Paintings

On my latest family reunion/ vacation Brownie and I went to visit 4 art Museums--Harvard's, Columbus OH, Toledo OH, and Cornell's.  What great art we saw and we saw including THREE more Rothokos.  In 2014 I posted some information about Mark Rothko after seeing one of his painting up close and personal.

The first new Rothko we saw was in the Harvard Art Museum.  It is from his transitional "multiform" period. "Rothko himself described these paintings as possessing a more organic structure and as self-contained units of human expression. For him, these blurred blocks of various colors, devoid of landscape or the human figure, let alone myth and symbol, possessed their own life force. They contained a "breath of life" he found lacking in most figurative painting of the era. " 

The other two Rothkos we saw were in the Toledo OH Museum.  I wish we had had  more time to spend there.  These are both in Rothko's later style of floating rectangular fields of light and color and is the style for which he is best known.

And some details of the Lilac and Orange over Ivory.

I am not sure  if you can see the drip marks on the picture above.  I would guess that they are the reason there was a problem about how to hang the piece.  The Toledo museum had some question about which way was up for the picture and had to verify it before hanging the painting.  Yes, the drip marks do run  up.  The drip marks are also an excellent representation of  Rothko's use of very thin layers of paint to produce a depth in his paintings--those drips are nearly transparent.

I clearly did not love Untitled as much as I loved the Lilac and Orange over Ivory since I did not take any detail pictures of Untitled. Well, I didn't take any detail pictures of the transitional piece either and I didn't even take a picture of the plaque for it.  If a picture is worth a thousand words then the number of shots taken of each Rothko painting visually demonstrates my excitement level in each of the three pieces.  However, I am truly thrilled to have gotten to see all three this summer.


  1. Sounds like a great experience

  2. I don't know where you live, but the Akron Art Museum has a Rothko and I go and visit is every time I am in the museum. It is one of the floating rectangles and I remember it has orange and turquoise used in it. Summer is not over. Maybe you could add a fourth one!


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