Headline Nov 18, 2014/


When Mark Rothko committed suicide in 1970,  -he left behind hundreds of unsold paintings. He found it hard to part with them.

He considered his artwork to be his children, and he didn't like to send them off to live with just anybody:

In the early '60s when Jean Kennedy Smith, a sister of President Kennedy, asked to take one or two paintings home  ''on approval,'' he refused.

''It is not a matter of my pictures fitting in with something else,'' he said with a huff.

One collector who did pass muster was David Rockefeller. In 1960, he bought, for less than $10,000,  ''White Center''; a painting of shimmery white and yellow hands on a luscious pink field.

It hung in his office until 2007, when he sold it at  Sotheby's for $72.8 million  -still the auction record for a contemporary American painting.

***Rothko was the last in a line of angst-ridden, soul-searching artists who had a love-hate relationship with success***. 
For him, selling art was secondary to making it  -in sharp contrast to the  21st-century art world-

Where the dealers scramble to sign up the next hot young painter fresh out of graduate school and where money is the only marker of success.

Rothko couldn't have handled that kind of career; even as mature artist, he wrestled anew with every raw canvas.

In the late 1950s, he began agonizing over his biggest commission todate: a series of murals for the new Four Season Restaurant in Manhattan.

The project fulfilled his desire to create an a environment that will surround the viewers with a suite of brooding paintings. Yet he feared that the pictures would become mere decor :

At a fancy feeding trough for the ultra-rich. How could a Russian born, left-wing artist  -who for the sake of his work, had spent most of his career in poverty  -reconcile such a pact with the devil?

In one famous whirlwind  play, by John Logan,  at this very point,Rothko is shown to explode : ''I hope to ruin the appetite of every sonofabitch who eats here!''  And this is an actual Rothko quote.

It may be a bit romantic to think of Rothko as the  heroic lion raging against a changing world:

On a good day, he liked money   -and fame, too. But whether or not you love Rothko's paintings, it's impossible to doubt the sincerity of of his struggle to make them, to express the world as he saw it.

Those luminous pictures have an authenticity,  a lack of cynicism, that seems to belong to distant time.

How often do you encounter a new work of art that stops your heart, instead of your checkbook?

Later in the  60s, he finally did get a chance to create two suits of murals: one set for Harvard and 14 paintings for the Rothko chapel in Houston. He gave eight of the panels he'd done for the Four Seasons to Tate Gallery in England..

The painting arrived in London on the same bleak February day in  1970s  -that he cut open his arms in his New York studio and died at the age of 66. 

With respectful dedication to the Students, Painters and Artists of the world. See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' The Art of Honours '''

'''Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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