Pace explores Mark Rothko’s Dark Palette

Mark Rothko Black in Deep Red, 1957 No. 63347 Alt # CR 592 Format of original photography: 4x5 Tran
Black in Deep Red, 1957

Rothko: Dark Palette
, an exhibition tracing the history of Mark Rothko’s use of dark colours in his powerful oeuvre is currently on view at Pace, 510 West 25th Street until 7 January 2017.

The remarkable exhibition traces the exploration of Rothko’s use of somber tones from 1955 to the 1960s. “On several occasions, Mark spoke of the importance of tragedy and tragic themes as stimuli for the creation of profound beauty. Rothko considered tragedy a theme worthy of art. He cited Greek theater and the way in which it dealt with the depth of human emotions and universal truths. Although the colors, composition, and levels of intensity change, heroic themes permeate his paintings.” Arne Glimcher recounts.

The show smartly reveals the progression of the artist into the colours that dominated his later years and contradicts a common assumption on his paintings: “This exhibition presents the dark-value paintings that were produced throughout his career and they disprove the prevalent interpretation that the dark paintings function as an end game; the product of depression and impending doom. Mark didn’t paint when he was depressed. Painting was a positive, exultant experience for him. His life’s work was the expression of pure emotion and color was his medium.” Arne Glimcher contiues.

Presented in association with the Rothko family, Dark Palette features loans from museum collections including The Museum of Modern Art, New York and The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. It is a museum-quality exhibition.

Image: Mark Rothko Black in Deep Red, 1957 Oil on canvas, Private Collection © 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Photo courtesy The Mark Rothko Foundation