Mark Rothko: Toward Clarity
Yale University Press
Let’s start with words from the man himself – words that would have lead to choosing the title of the book:
“The progression of a painter’s work…will be toward clarity; toward the elimination of all obstacles between the painter and the idea, and between the idea and the observer…to achieve this clarity is, inevitably, to be understood.” –Mark Rothko
The story of one of the most acclaimed painters of the modern ages is one of evolution – evolution towards reduction; towards the essence; towards the essentials.
If you have ever gained access to one of Rothko’s emission in the third dimension, you would be able to attest to the immense power that lies within his art.
Personally, I developed an appreciation for Mark Rothko as he channels his alchemy based not only at pushing boundaries but to erase them.
Transcendence in its essence.
Merging art and life to an organic whole.
Rothko’s believes in the power of concepts and the beauty of their purity, with any further ornamentation or dilution.
Toward Clarity examines Rothko’s oeuvre in the context of modern Western art, which has had an immense influence on his paintings. His interests are shed light on and it is remarkable to see how his travels and keen interests in art and history influenced what eventually materialized on his canvases.
With the unique angle his art is approached, the book made me revisit Rothko’s paintings and added an additional dimension to a body of work that certainly does not lack facets even at face value.
One gains a deeper understanding and appreciation of his techniques and the underlying ideas that not only informed some of his artwork, but ones he was actively signifying.
The tome is rounded out by the inclusion of Mark Rothko’s essays, the voice of which lends weight and currency to the elaborations of the contributing art historians and critics.
An ode to one of the most influential expressionist painters and a feast for the eyes.