Mark Rothko quotes

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Mark Rothko

Birthdate: 25. September 1903
Date of death: 25. February 1970

Mark Rothko , born Markus Yakovlevich Rothkowitz , was an American painter of Lithuanian Jewish descent. Although Rothko himself refused to adhere to any art movement, he is generally identified as an abstract expressionist.

„A painting is not a picture of an experience; it is an experience.“

—  Mark Rothko

As quoted in 'Mark Rothko', Dorothy Seiberling in LIFE magazine (16 November 1959), p. 82
1950's

„I'm not an abstractionist. I'm not interested in the relationship of color or form or anything else. I'm interested only in expressing basic human emotions: tragedy, ecstasy, doom, and so on.“

—  Mark Rothko

1950's
Source: Conversations with Artists, Selden Rodman, New York Devin-Adair 1957. p. 93.; reprinted as 'Notes from a conversation with Selden Rodman, 1956', in Writings on Art: Mark Rothko (2006) ed. Miguel López-Remiro p. 119 books.google http://books.google.de/books?id=ZdYLk3m2TN4C&pg=PA119
Context: I am not an abstractionist... I am not interested in the relationships of color or form or anything else... I'm interested only in expressing basic human emotions — tragedy, ecstasy, doom and so on — and the fact that a lot of people break down and cry when confronted with my pictures show that I communicate those basic human emotions... The people who weep before my pictures are having the same religious experience I had when I painted them. And if you, as you say, are moved only by their color relationships, then you miss the point!

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„[the first ingredient of his work].. is a clear preoccupation with death - intimations of mortality.“

—  Mark Rothko

Quote from Rothko's 1958 lecture at the Pratt Institute; as cited in Mark Rothko, a biography, James E. B. Breslin, University of Chicago Press, 1993, p. 28
1950's

„It was not that the figure had been removed, not that the figures had been swept away, but the symbols for the figures, and in turn the shapes in the later canvases were substitutes for the figures.... these new shapes say.... what the symbols said.“

—  Mark Rothko

Rothko, explaining Seitz his new way of painting during the mid-1940s
Abstract Expressionist Painting in America, W.C, Seitz, Cambridge Massachusetts, 1983, p. 142
after 1970, posthumous

„It's a risky business to send a picture out into the world. How often it must be impaired by the eyes of the unfeeling and the cruelty of the impotent who could extend their affliction universally!“

—  Mark Rothko

As quoted in Conversations with Artists (1957) by Selden Rodman, p. 92; later published in 'Notes from a conversation with Selden Rodman, 1956' in Writings on Art : Mark Rothko (2006) ed. Miguel López-Remiro ISBN 0300114400
1950's

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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