Mark Rothko, the most famous american abstract expressionist.
He was born in Daugavpils in Latvia.
His family emigrated to the United States when he was 10 years old. He attended Yale University and moved to New York in 1925, where he studied at the Art Students League. His first solo exhibition dates back to 1933.
Abstract expressionist, reached fame in the 60s with the help of Peggy Guggenheim, who organized an exhibition in his gallery in New York. His works are now on display in museums around the world, and is considered one of the most significant artists of the century. His work “White Center” was auctioned in May 2007 to a record $ 72.84 million dollars.
The art of Mark Rothko has aroused extreme reactions since his work has gained significant attention in the early ’50s.
On the one hand a reverence similar to a cult, an eagerness on the part of fans beyond the typical enthusiasm for art. The other a refusal almost derisively, a deep resentment for a painter who has dared to present works as “simple.”
Rothko began and ended his career with the desire to express the human condition through his works.
This may not be immediately apparent in his paintings, which have large areas of saturated color fields, admirably combined. However, he claimed to be interested in the human drama, not the execution of a decorative work, nor to the color relationships and space or the beauty in itself. Fully he shared the idea that art has the power to deeply involve those who relate to it.
In the beginning (roughly between 1925 and 1937), Rothko pursued this goal by painting urban scenes, figures that are being debated within social, cultural and economic boundaries of the American city.
Between 1937 and 1940 the artist went in search of a new language, explicitly more universal, and turned to surrealism. He embraced this poetic because he believed it would allow him to enter into a relationship with the primary elements belonging to every human being: the dream world where everyone has access. Choosing mythical subjects, he also hoped his vocabulary could be understood by all.
Rothko At the end chose to abandon the figurative, through pure abstraction during the 1945.
In 1949 he took fully formed his characteristic style, consisting of two or three of floating color rectangles on a colored background. Eliminating all recognizable figures, the artist was trying to communicate at a more elementary level, to appeal directly to the emotions. This, in his opinion, was a truly universal language, a way of talking about what is most essentially human, without the interference of cultural and social conventions referents.
It was a risky change and this is probably the main reason why his work is so revered, on the one hand, and so misunderstood on the other.
For those who are able to interact with a painting of this raw and visceral level, the experience can be deeply rewarding. With those who have learned to see the art according to certain cultural norms, with those who want something more explicit narrative that sees in the work, with those who are too emotionally controlled to make the trip suggested, or who is simply on an emotional Page different from a certain work on a certain day, the attempt to Rothko communication is doomed to fail.
The works appear to them only pretty, or blank if not downright stupid in their combination of grandeur and simplicity.