Artist of the Week

Mark Rothko

Today (as this is being written) is painter Mark Rothko‘s birthday. Born September 25, 1903, in Dvinsk, Russian Empire, he is referred to as an abstract or expressionist painter, and rejected both of those labels. Rothko is known for his rectangles of at first brilliant and later on somber color works.

His father emigrated to America because Jews were blamed for many of the evils that plagued Russia.  Although he was a brilliant student he did not show any special art talents. Like his father he was more intersted in the rights of workers and that of women.

Rothko went onto Yale where he and a friend founded the statistical magazine, The Yale Saturday Evening Pest, that made fun of the Waspy and elitist community.

Rothko soon dropped out of Yale and in 1923 he visited a friend who was at the Art Students League of New York. It was here he saw his life as an artist take form. He encountered artist Arshile Gorky his first vision of the world of the world of the “avant-garde”. Along with Gorky he met fellow Russian Jewish artist Max Weber. Weber’s influence provided Rothko a way to see that art could be used as a means of expressing emotional and religious feeling.

Mark Rothko, The Omen of the Eagle,1942, National Gallery of Art, Gift of The Mark Rothko Foundation, Inc., 1986.43.107

Rothko ‘s work during the early 1940’s was symbolic and contained abstracted figures. Yet Rothko felt unfulfilled by this imagery. He felt art should reflect social and the human condition. Rothko felt, new subjects and a new idiom had to be found. He said, “It was with the utmost reluctance that I found the figure could not serve my purposes….But a time came when none of us could use the figure without mutilating it.” (quote from Wikipedia). Rothko saw a deep connection between primitive art and children’s art. He began a book in 1936 that he never finished about this connection. He saw modern art as being derived from primitiveness much the way a child’s art looks. He also observed that one who is creative begins with color.

Mark Rothko Red, Orange, Tan, and Purple, 1949 Oil on canvas 84 1/2 x 68 1/2 inches (214.5 x 174 cm) Private collection ©1999 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko

In 1946 Rothko moved into painting with blocks of color. Although not a term used by Rothko himself, these works were called multiform paintings, devoid of figures or landscapes, these works took on an organic form. Large blurred paintings made up of blocks of color, Rothko felt they took on their own life and reflected what the figure never could. These large organic canvases are the style Rothko would work in until his death.

Mark Rothko, Untitled (Seagram Mural sketch), 1959 , National Gallery of Art, Gift of The Mark Rothko Foundation, Inc., 1986.43.156

Untitled, Black on Grey, 1970


Rothko’s work began to darken dramatically during the late 1950s. Eventually his works went untitled or were given numbers. Some art historians attributed the darkening of his canvases to his poor health and depression. Rothko committed suicide on February 25, 1970. His work is represented in major museums and galleries around the world. There of course is so much to be written about Rothko’s life and work.  See the sites below and view the collection of material the Central Library’s Art division owns about him.

Happy Birthday, Mark Rothko: Rizzoli Press Publishes ‘Mark Rothko, The Decisive Decade: 1940-1950’. from the Huffington Post.

Mark Rothko at the National Gallery of Art, Washington.

The Rothko Chapel. Rothko at MoMA.

Rothko Room at The Phillips Collection. Rothko’s Legacy at PBS.

Rothko Exhibits

Mark Rothko: The Decisive Decade 1940-1950 at the Columbia Museum of Art
September 14-January 6, 2013

 Mark Rothko: The Decisive Decade 1940-1950 celebrates one of the world’s most influential and best-known artists of the 20th century by featuring 37 paintings, watercolors and works on paper, which are drawn largely from the collection of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

 After its showing at the Columbia Museum of Art, the exhibition travels to the Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio (February 1 – May 26, 2013), the Denver Art Museum (June 16 – September 29, 2013) and the Arkansas Art Center (October 25, 2013 – February 9, 2014).

Mark Rothko Retrospective of the artist’s most important works

NN Art Librarian@Central

First Fridays for Art in Rochester

First Friday is Citywide Gallery Night in Rochester, NY

The first Friday of every month is is a citywide gallery night that encourages collaboration between non-profit, university, and commercial art venues in Rochester, NY. This Friday May 4, 2012,  is a First Friday night and you can support local artists by visiting the galleries listed here between 6-9pm.

RPO’s 2012–13 Bravo Program Artwork Covers

Have some artistic talent you’d like to share? Submit something to Rochester Contemporary Art Center’s International Small Art Phenomenon —your artwork could be chosen for one of the RPO’s 2012–13 Bravo program covers. RoCo is currently accepting artwork for its annual 6×6 exhibition. All entries will be displayed by RoCo, and six will be selected to appear on RPO program covers throughout the 12–13 season.

Each submission must be 6×6 square inches (15 cm) or mounted on a 6×6 board, and signed only on the back. Entries should be submitted by May 6, and mailed directly to Rochester Contemporary Art Center, 137 East Ave., Rochester, NY 14604. Click here for more information.

Art, Music and Recreation Division Magazines

Arts, Music and Recreation Division Magazines

Amazing Spider Man
American Art Review
American Artist
American Cinematographer
American Craft
American PhilatelistAmerican Photo
American Record Guide
Antique Trader Weekly
Antiques Antiques and Collecting Magazine
Antiques Roadshow Insider
Architectural Digest
Architectural Record
Architectural Review
Art & Antiques
Art Doll QuarterlyArt EducationArt in America
Artforum InternationalArt Libraries Journal
Artists Magazine
ArtnewsArts Education Policy Review
Back Stage
Baseball Digest
Batman Comics
BeadworkBelle Armoire Jewelry (coming soon)
Better Homes and Gardens
Billboard International Buyers Guide
Billboard International Talent & Touring Guide
Black Belt
Blind Spot
Blues Revue
Bowlers Journal International
Bridge World
Call Sheet by Back Stage
Camera Obscura
Camping Life
Canoe & Kayak MagazineCast On
Ceramics Monthly
Chess Life
Clavier Companion
Climbing Coach and Athletic Director
Coin World
Communications Arts
Country Living
Crafts Report
Crafts n Things
Crochet World
Dance Magazine
Digital PhotoDigital Video
Down Beat
Dwell Magazine
Entertainment Weekly
Espn Magazine
Field & Stream
Film Comment
Film Journal Intl
Film Quarterly
Foxfire Magazine
Golf Digest
GramophoneGuitar Player Hockey News
House Beautiful
Interior Design
International MusicianInt’l Review of African American Art
Journal of the Soc. of Architectural Historians Keyboard
Lakeland Boating
Landscape Architecture
Linns Stamp News Special
Live Design
Living BluesM Music and Musicians
Mekeels and Stamps Magazine
Museum of American Folk ArtMusic Educators Journal
New Musical Express
Official Museum Directory
Old-House Journal
Opera News
Outdoor Life
Paper Crafts
Petersen’s Hunting
Popular Photography
Print – Americas Graphics
Professional ArtistQuilting ArtsRaw Vision
Rolling Stone
Runners World
SailSchool Arts
Sculpture Review
Sheet Music MagazineShuttle, Spindle and Dye Pot
Sight and Sound
Sing Out
Soccer America
SonglinesSouthwest Art
Sporting News
Sports Afield
Sports Illustrated
Stained Glass Studio
Sunshine Artist
Swimming World Magazine
Town & Country
Track & Field News Treasures
TV Guide
Victorian Homes VM+SD (Visual Merchandising + Store Design)