Regarding Mark Rothko by Norbert Marszalek

I never gave much thought to Mark Rothko or his large colored soaked canvases but with the play Red in town and a planned tripped to Houston where the Rothko Chapel is located I would get my fair share of the man.

Red is about Rothko and a fictitious studio assistant during a two year period when the painter was commissioned to create several large paintings for the Four Seasons Restaurant in NYC. The play was fantastic—full of energy. I tend to forget that painting can transcend time and place. Both the act of painting and being a spectator of the work can be a very spiritually moving event. Red reminded me that painting is very human.

It was then off to Houston and the Rothko Chapel. I didn’t know what to expect except some Rothko paintings and some sort of chapel. The magic was in the conflation. The first thing that struck me was the quietness of the chapel. The stillness was beautiful. I don’t know if I ever equated quietness and beauty before but I do now. And of course there were the paintings. The paintings hovered on the walls. As time passed I felt I was becoming one with the paintings…with the stillness. The whole space evoked inspiration.

Both of these experiences are making me give more thought to Mark Rothko.

A review of Red from Time Out Chicago is here.