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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Mark Rothko art paintings quotes

Mark Rothko moved through many artistic styles until reaching his signature 1950s motif of soft, rectangular forms floating on a stained field of color. Heavily influenced by mythology and philosophy, he was insistent that his art was filled with content, and brimming with ideas. A fierce champion of social revolutionary thought, and the right to self-expression, Rothko also expounded his views in numerous essays and critical reviews. 

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Highly informed by Nietzsche, Greek mythology, and his Russian-Jewish heritage, Rothko's art was profoundly imbued with emotional content that he articulated through a range of styles that evolved from figurative to abstract.
Rothko's early figurative work - including landscapes, still lifes, figure studies, and portraits - demonstrated an ability to blend Expressionism and Surrealism. His search for new forms of expression led to his color field paintings, which employed shimmering color to convey a sense of spirituality.
Rothko maintained the social revolutionary ideas of his youth throughout his life. In particular he supported artist's total freedom of expression, which he felt was compromised by the market. This belief often put him at odds with the art world establishment, leading him to publicly respond to critics, and occasionally refuse commissions, sales and exhibitions.


If you are only moved by color relationships [in my paintings], you are missing the point. I am interested in expressing the big emotions - tragedy, ecstasy, doom.

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.

We favor the simple expression of the complex thought. We are for the large shape because it has the impact of the unequivocal. We wish to reassert the picture plane. We are for flat forms because they destroy illusion and reveal truth.

The fact that people break down and cry when confronted with my pictures shows that I can communicate those basic human emotions.. the people who weep before my pictures are having the same religious experience I had when painting them. And if you say you are moved only by their color relationships then you miss the point.


  1. Rothko need to let go of the painting to allow it to speak on it's own to the viewer. Once someone else looks at the painting, the message that they get is no longer owned by the painter. The artist does not own the point.

    1. good point. C'est a dire, "points" are social, multiple, as well as individual? The artist's familiar language needs to be stated precisely--"point" here signifies "meaning," which usually belongs to those with discursive power.

    2. It helps to know where the artist is coming from, to establish the work's context. Otherwise it's like looking at algebra without having done any math before, meaningless. Also, viewing the work is not owning the work. You are merely a voyeur into his world for a short time, if you are fortunate enough.

    3. yes, at the end, it's the other human that we gravitate to, not the object itself. we need a reference to reality (at least our reality), otherwise we end up limiting our emotions.

  2. i love that you posted a manipulated photograph entitled 'blue rothko red' by a one-time active flickr photographer named 'jeloid' as if it was a rothko painting.
    thought we wouldn't notice, huh?

  3. even mohammed could paint this. *shaking my head*

  4. .,..
    An artwork attracts greater attention and more quality appreciation when people read a true meaning which they can relate to their lives, from the artwork. This interpretation will greatly enhance the market value and sales of your artwork.

    My interpretation is short but detailed describing fully the CORE
    information that a particular work of art depicts.
    Price - $250 per artwork.

    SEE - www.artexhibition360.blogspot.com


    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. haha!
      you don't even limit your area of perception, you can consume and resonate any kind of art and give it a direction? Wow...

      haha, I guess I don't have to tell anybody how pointless it is for an artist to seek this kind of advice... selling a house for a hotel night... just because there is an oven in that particular hotel and your town is out of ovens in shops, they only sell microwaves and the hotel owners don't allow you to use ovens even if you pay for the night just to use the oven - you have to sleep there - and also, that there are only hotels for homeless people in your town (that's why you had to sell your house before moving to the hotel) and you can not leave your town because it's a ghetto? I really tried hard to make this terrible example work here... if I could try a little bit more, I would only add that I didn't mean the erotic privileges that may come to your mind with this metaphor, but just limiting of your own reality (for the purpose of inadequate, insufficient benefit)... and (your) reality is the fundamental part of art (abstraction, avantgarde, minimalism - probably, in some cases, even braver, more intimate ways of approaching reality)

      I don't know, I don't know... haha!

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