The film Power of Art by Simon Schama, BBC
Unfortunately when I write down this article, it’s not possible to see Mark Rothko’s works here, instead of pictures.
A picture lives by companionship, expanding and quickening in the eyes of the sensitive observer. It dies by the same token. It is therefore a risky and unfeeling act to send it out into the world. How often it must be permanently impaired by the eyes of the vulgar and the cruelty of the impotent who would extend the affliction universally! — Mark Rothko
Rothko seemed to have had a revelation, which explains the progression of his later works toward mature, rectangular fields of color and light, that later culminated – or self-destructed – in his final works for the Rothko Chapel. However, between the primitivist and playful urban scenes and aquarelles of the early period, and the late, transcendent fields of color, was a period of transition. It was a rich and complex milieu which included two important events in Rothko’s life: the onset of World War II, and his reading of Friedrich Nietzsche."The exhilarated tragic experience," he wrote, "is for me the only source of art."surfaces are expansive and push outward in all directions, or their surfaces contract and rush inward in all directions. Between these two poles you can find everything I want to say
memory and hallucination：only in expressing basic human emotions — tragedy, ecstasy, doom, and so on. And the fact that a lot of 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 I painted them. And if you, as you say, are moved only by their color relationship, then you miss the point.
the Chapel paintings are the nadir of "darkness and impenetrability"：less-than-subtle imagery (the crucifixion)："impenetrable fortresses" of color.
On February 25, 1970, Oliver Steindecker, Rothko’s assistant, found the artist in his kitchen, lying dead on the floor in front of the sink, covered in blood. He had sliced his arms with a razor found lying at his side. During autopsy it was discovered he had also overdosed on anti-depressants. He was 66 years old.Shortly before his death, Rothko and his financial advisor, Bernard Reis, had created a foundation intended to fund "research and education" that would receive the bulk of Rothko’s work following his death. Reis later sold the paintings to the Marlborough Gallery at a considerable loss, and split the profits with Gallery representatives. In 1971, Rothko’s children filed a lawsuit against Reis, Morton Levine, and Theodore Stamos, the executors of his estate. The suit continued for more than 10 years. In 1975, the defendants were found guilty of negligence and conflict of interest, removed as executors, and, along with Marlborough Gallery, fined $9.2 million.
- "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. "
- "Certain people always say we should go back to nature. I notice they never say we should go forward to nature."
- "Pictures must be miraculous."
- "The progression of a painter’s work as it travels in time from point to point, will be toward clarity. toward the elimination of all obstacles between the painter and the idea. and the idea and the observer. To achieve this clarity is inevitably to be understood."
- "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."
- "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."
- In the June 13, 1943 edition of the New York Times, Rothko, together with Adolph Gottlieb and Barnett Newman, published the following brief manifesto:
- "1. To us art is an adventure into an unknown world, which can be explored only by those willing to take the risks.
- "2. This world of imagination is fancy-free and violently opposed to common sense.
- "3. It is our function as artists to make the spectator see the world our way not his way.
- "4. 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.
- "5. It is a widely accepted notion among painters that it does not matter what one paints as long as it is well painted."
- [Rothko said "this is the essence of academicism".]
- "There is no such thing as a good painting about nothing.
- "We assert that the subject is crucial and only that subject matter is valid which is tragic and timeless. That is why we profess spiritual kinship with primitive and archaic art."
- "Silence is so accurate."
good morning teacher.我就会说这一句英文。。。上边的内容完全看不懂，希望下次出个中文版的，