Mark Rothko - Weiss, Jeffrey; Gage, John; Mancusi-Ungaro, Carol; Novak, Barbara; O´Doherty, Brian; O`Doherty, Brian; Rosenthal, Mark; Stewart, Jessica - Yale University Press
Art and Architecture

Published in association with the National Gallery of Art, Washington 

Mark Rothko

  • Jeffrey Weiss; With contributions by John Gage, Carol C. Mancusi-Ungaro, Barbara Novak, Brian O´Doherty, Mark Rosenthal, and Jessica Stewart
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In their stunning simplicity, the famous colored rectangle paintings by Mark Rothko suggest, evoke, and endlessly enthrall. This richly illustrated book reproduces in full color one hundred of Rothko’s paintings, prints, and drawings. The volume features four commentaries by art experts who explore various formal aspects of Rothko’s work, interviews with contemporary artists who reflect on Rothko’s legacy to post-New York School abstraction, and a chronology of the Russian-born artist’s life from 1903 to 1970.

Among the contributors to this book is John Gage, who considers Rothko’s use of color in the art-historical context of color theory as well as the philosophical content of Rothko’s work. Carol Mancusi-Ungaro, a conservator who specializes in Rothko, discusses the pictorial surface of the artist’s large canvases, including the effects of his brushwork, layering, and reflectance. Barbara Novak and Brian O’Doherty treat the element of darkness in Rothko’s late work in relation to his ideas about tragedy, taking special notice of the Houston Chapel commission and the last paintings of 1968-70. And Jeffrey Weiss addresses the nature of pictorial space in Rothko’s art, emphasizing metaphors of urban space rather than landscape paintings, with which Rothko’s work is more commonly compared.

This book is the catalogue for the first major American retrospective of the work of Mark Rothko in twenty years. The exhibit opens at the National Gallery of Art on May 3, 1998, and then travels to the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.

Jeffrey Weiss is organizing curator of the Mark Rothko exhibition and associate curator of twentieth-century art at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. He is the author of The Popular Culture of Modern Art: Picasso, Duchamp, and Avant-Gardism, 1909-1917, published by Yale University Press.