Mark Rothko

Mark Rothko Amsterdam

The late-Moco Master famously embraces the physiological relationship of seeing color and its subsequent effect on the soul. Moco Museum in Amsterdam welcomes a new master to the line-up: Mark Rothko!

Black Blue Painting is one of the latest acquisitions to the modern and contemporary art museum’s collection of art. Furthermore, it is a celebrated addition that takes pride of place in the historic Villa Alsberg. 

Mark Rothko Black Blue Painting at Moco Museum

Mark Rothko, Black Blue Painting, oil on paper, laid on linen, 121.3 x 101.9 cm

With deep meditation, Rothko would layer thin washes of paint, slowly building complex, spiritual-saturations of color. He achieves a surface that appears to conceal a glowing light from hidden depths. Original combinations of color and vibrating forms have made Rothko iconic and beloved by the art world.

From 1968 until his death in 1970, Rothko was experiencing heart troubles, and almost exclusively worked on paper at his doctor’s requests. In his final years, paper became increasingly important and cherished by Rothko. The soft paper was perfect for his delicate technique and he became devoted to the medium. 

“Art to me is an anecdote of the spirit, and the only means of making concrete the purpose of its varied quickness and stillness.” – Mark Rothko

Black Blue Painting is a lasting example of Rothko’s power and has been likened to endless oceans, the cosmos, and rare night-blooming flowers. A metaphysical atmosphere reaches out to audiences, which can be attributed to the artist’s injection of quiet flashes of blue and deep violet that breathe beneath a cloak of darkness. Although the artist’s departure from this world was untimely, he leaves us with a work of great control, peacefulness, delicacy, and distance.

Mark Rothko Painting at Moco Museum

1946 marked the birth of a uniquely American art movement, which would soon change art history forever – Abstract Expressionism

Quickly, New York City became the epicenter of the western art world. Out of the blue, expressions of abstraction – fully-charged, poetic, monumental, still, confronting, spiritual – leave a lasting impression on the art world. And, one of the movement’s biggest stars is Mark Rothko

The American Abstract Expressionist artist of Lithuanian Jewish descent paints vibrating forms in unique color harmonies. Moreover, Mark Rothko paintings, known as Color Field paintings, are made by layering thin washes of color in a meditative ritual. As a result, his art possesses a spiritual quality that inspires reflection and introspection amongst viewers. Above all, Rothko believes that art is an expression of emotion, and to move people with his art. 

Moco Master

As one of the most renowned Abstract Expressionists, Mark Rothko fundamentally changed the relationship between art and spectator. 

The American art critic Donald Kuspit remarks on how the works of Mark Rothko immediately engage the viewer. “The space beyond and in front of the painting and the situation obtaining within that space were now part of the field of pictorial action, as much as the space contained within the material limits of the picture.”

“Deeds and thoughts are materials for his creations, which themselves exercise influence on the spiritual atmosphere.” – Wassily Kandinsky

Sacred Space

Black Blue Painting by Mark Rothko was completed during the last two years of the artist’s life. During this time, the artist shifted from painting on canvas to paper. Interestingly, the deep, dark, and mysterious palette remind us of the Rothko Chapel paintings. 

The Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas (1971) is a non-denominational space that welcomes all art lovers. The significance of the Rothko Chapel within the context of art history unites art and architecture in a space filled with color by Mark Rothko. The Chapel was originally intended to be a Catholic chapel at the University of St. Thomas in Texas; however, in the words of its patron, Dominique de Menil, today it “stands as a modern sanctuary open to all traditions”.

“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 colour relationships, then you miss the point!” – Mark Rothko

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