Tuesday, June 30, 2009

This photo is a bit grainy (taken at the NGA in DC in a low-light environment with my iPhone), but I included it because it is an important image to me. The paintings are by one of my art gods, Mark Rothko (1903-1970). I am including a brief paragraph from the NGA website on a Rothko exhibition held in 1998:

Mark Rothko was born Marcus Rothkowitz in Dvinsk, Russia (today Daugavpils, Latvia), on September 25, 1903, the fourth child of Jacob Rothkowitz, a pharmacist (b. 1859), and Anna Goldin Rothkowitz (b. 1870), who had married in 1886. Rothko and his family immigrated to the United States when he was ten years old, and settled in Portland, Oregon.

Rothko's expansive spaces have been linked to Romantic artists of the 19th century, and are evocative of open spaces found in nature (the sky, the ocean) and in the spiritual realm. Along with Matisse, he is one of the great colorists in art; the color in his late paintings, before his suicide in 1970, are blacks and grays. 

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