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Art Appreciation

May 29 2007 Art Appreciation Newsletter

Mark Rothko

Mark Rothko was greatly influenced by Henri Matisse's "The Red Studio" (1911). In this painting there is no indication where the wall or floor begins or ends. The objects are floating. The "painting" is red, not the objects themselves. Rothko was said to have visited the Museum of Modern Art in N.Y. over and over again to see this particular work.

In Rothko's paintings of 1949, he began to "stack colors," creating horizontal divisions. He was said to think of his color forms as "actors."
He was deeply concerned with the artist's relationship with the audience. He wanted his paintings hung as low as possible, in relation to the floor. He wanted the lighting low and ideally, he wanted one viewer at a time. If you turned your back on his paintings, he said it was "to view another of his paintings."

Rothko prefered large paintings in small rooms. He felt his paintings were misunderstood; he didn't want them to be calming and they weren't abstract.
He wanted only to communicate basic emotions.

Having experienced a room filled with Rothko's at the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., I truly understand what he meant by an 'inner light' coming from his paintings.
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America's 'Mona Lisa' - 'Genevra de' Benci'
Leonardo da Vinci is best known for his painting the 'Mona Lisa' but there is another portrait of a woman who is not as well known, even though she resides in the U.S - Genevra de' Benci.

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