Sunday, January 30, 2011

13 Facts About Mark Rothko

As a boy in Dvinsk, Russia, he saw 
the bodies of other Jews who had been 
kidnapped and massacred by Cossacks.

He dropped out of Yale. But he got 
an honorary doctorate 46 years later.

He believed that art came from “an inborn 
feeling for form; the ideal lies in the 
spontaneity, simplicity, and directness of children.”

For years he struggled as an artist. 
His family said he never wrote his 
mother or did anything to support her.

He was into Surrealism for a while. 
Then he stopped putting his paintings in 
frames or giving them titles, 
other than dates and numbers.

His mature work became color 
blocks, vibrating color blocks.

Over time, he began to favor darker colors. 
Some think these late 1960s works 
look like the lunar landscape.

After being hospitalized in 1968 for an 
aortic aneurysm, his doctor forbade him 
to work on canvases more than three feet tall.

He was a suicide, but an autopsy showed 
that his system had been poisoned by the 
antidepressants he was taking.

“I’m only interested in expressing basic 
human emotions—tragedy, ecstasy, doom, and so on.”

After his death, his family learned that his long-time 
manager had been ripping him off big time for years. 
It was in all the papers.