Mark Rothko, Untitled (1960)

Mark Rothko, Untitled (1960)

As readers of this site are already familiar with my favourite piece of art it should come as no surprise to you that I really appreciate the Rothko work shown above. Rothko refused to explain his work leaving us with one of art’s great mysteries. The UK Times is asking us what we think of this piece and what we think it represents. While you ponder those questions, have a look at some quotes by Mark Rothko:

“I am not an abstract painter. I am not interested in the relationship between form and color. The only thing I care about is the expression of man’s basic emotions: tragedy, ecstasy, destiny.”

“The role of the artist, of course, has always been that of image-maker. Different times require different images. Today when our aspirations have been reduced to a desperate attempt to escape from evil, and times are out of joint, our obsessive, subterranean and pictographic images are the expression of the neurosis which is our reality. To my mind certain so-called abstraction is not abstraction at all. On the contrary, it is the realism of our time. ”

“Since my pictures are large, colorful and unframed, and since museum walls are usually immense and formidable, there is the danger that the pictures relate themselves as decorative areas to the walls. This would be a distortion of their meaning, since the pictures are intimate and intense, and are the opposite of what is decorative.”

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4 Responses to Mark Rothko, Untitled (1960)

  1. Mike says:

    At first I see what seems two broad, uncouth brush strokes… then in the foreground I see a dusk-lit field leading to a sunset-licked horizon topped with a burning sky. Love the contrast. Perfection in simplicity.

    To me it looks like a landscape… but is that because we tend to see what we want to see, what’s familiar to us, or is it what the artist intended me to see… I guess we’ll never know.

    This could all be a trick of the nets though, considering the image size, compression and such.

  2. vodkasoda says:

    …or maybe it’s a scam by Rothko altogether because there really might be no meaning behind it? You are correct that we see that which we wish to see. I forget the scientific term, but often we look what is suggested by others.

  3. Mike says:

    Would it really be a scam if he never intended the work to have a deeper meaning?

    I don’t think so. It is what it is. No pretense. Untitled. I like it.

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