With my recent trip to Boston that included a captivating visit to the Museum of Fine Arts, I was fortunate enough to catch the Mark Rothko: Reflection exhibition. I have written on similar Rothko experiences when traveling: seeing the Rothko Chapel in Houston and the exhibition Red: Ming Dynasty/Mark Rothko in Washington DC.
A painting is not a picture of an experince, it is an experience. ~ Mark Rothko
Facing a Rothko painting is definitely an experience—a meditative, transformative kind of experience. There is a sense of immersion. A feeling that you are “part of the painting.” It’s still a magical feeling getting up close with these paintings and then slowly backing away filling your gaze with those mesmerizing colors.
Mark Rothko: Reflection contains eleven major works: from early paintings; to the radiant, colorful canvases that are most recognizable; to his large, mystical black paintings, made late in life. Though there are only a few examples of each phase of his career, together they allow us to trace his unique artistic vision.
The progression of a painter’s work, as it travels in time from point to point, will be toward clarity: toward the elimination of all obstacles between the painter and the idea, and between the idea and the observer.” ~ Mark Rothko
Without doubt, Rothko found clarity in his work. His paintings are an experience, the experience of being human.
More information on the exhibition here.
Norbert Marszalek is an artist, writer, and co-founder and editor of Neoteric Art. He was born in Chicago and received a Bachelor of Arts from Northeastern Illinois University and has also studied at the American Academy of Art and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
His paintings, works on paper, and sculpture have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in galleries and museums throughout the United States, including the George Billis Gallery in Los Angeles; the Richard Levy Gallery in Albuquerque; the Fort Wayne Museum of Art in Fort Wayne, Indiana; and the Beverly Arts Center in Chicago. Marszalek also has work in numerous permanent collections including the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art in Iowa.