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Writings on Artby Mark Rothko
"Writings on Art is the latest evidence of [Rothko's] revealingly eloquent ways with words....What he had to say, in fact, makes surprisingly good reading." Christopher Andreae, The Christian Science Monitor (read the entire Christian Science Monitor review)
Synopses & Reviews
While the collected writings of many major 20th-century artists, including Barnett Newman, Robert Motherwell, and Ad Reinhardt, have been published, Mark Rothko's writings have only recently come to light, beginning with the critically acclaimed The Artist's Reality: Philosophies of Art. Rothko's other written works have yet to be brought together into a major publication. Writings on Art fills this significant void; it includes some 90 documents — including short essays, letters, statements, and lectures — written by Rothko over the course of his career. The texts are fully annotated, and a chronology of the artist?s life and work is also included.
This provocative compilation of both published and unpublished writings from 193469 reveals a number of things about Rothko: the importance of writing for an artist who many believed had renounced the written word; the meaning of transmission and transition that he experienced as an art teacher at the Brooklyn Jewish Center Academy; his deep concern for meditation and spirituality; and his private relationships with contemporary artists (including Newman, Motherwell, and Clyfford Still) as well as journalists and curators.
As was revealed in Rothko's The Artist's Reality, what emerges from this collection is a more detailed picture of a sophisticated, deeply knowledgeable, and philosophical artist who was also a passionate and articulate writer.
"Rothko's multiform and abstract expressionist paintings make him one of the most important artists of the 20th century. Gathering all of the artist's writings held in public collections as well as texts in Rothko's descendants' hands, this book brings to light many of his theoretical stances, practical considerations and personal revelations. Arranged chronologically from 1934, the year after his first solo show, to 1969, the year before his suicide, the approximately 100 texts consist of letters to curators and to artists like Barnett Newman, Herbert Ferber and Robert Motherwell; notes about his approach to the teaching of art; and writings that explore art as a means of communication. Editor López-Remiro's introduction contextualizes the writings and doubles as a handy chronology of Rothko's life and career. As he notes, these texts by the renowned abstract expressionist 'form a sort of intellectual and emotional self-portrait of Mark Rothko.' This book will change the way Rothko is understood and should be required reading for scholars of his era." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Book News Annotation:
Russian-born Rothko (1903-70) was a major figure in New York City's abstract expressionist movement, and was also a prolific writer about art, though few of his written works are available to the general public. Spanish scholar López-Remiro has assembled and annotated some 100 letters, statements, essays, and other texts that Rothko wrote between 1934 and 1969 and trace the evolution of his aesthetic thought from a year after his first solo exhibition to the year before his death. Annotation Â©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
About the Author
Mark Rothko was born in Russia and came to the United States with his family in 1913. A major figure in New York's Abstract Expressionist movement, he has been the subject of retrospectives at the Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery of Art, Washington, the Guggenheim Museum, and other major museums around the world.
Miguel LÃ³pez-Remiro is an independent scholar living in Spain.
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