Rothko

By: Louk Vreeswijk

Apr 17 2016

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Category: Europe, Netherlands

1 Comment

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It was during my visit to the Rothko exhibition in The Hague last year that I was reminded of the frescoes by Fra Angelico in the monks’ cells of the convent of S. Marco in Florence (see last week’s post). Rothko had seen them too and had been equally impressed by them. One enters an empty cell and then there is a fresco, depicting, for example, the Annunciation. Rothko felt it to be the ideal environment for immersing oneself completely in the world of the painting. The barren cell as invitation to contemplate a painting, reflect on it, without distraction.

At the Rothko exhibition in The Hague the organizers had this in mind when putting up some of his paintings in the small side rooms. Less rigorous as with the Fra Angelico frescoes in the convent cells, but still it worked to a certain extent. Alone, in a semi-enclosed space, confronted with a vintage Rothko, you could enter the painting and let it enter you; bathe in its universe – at least for a moment or two.

Photo of the week: Mark Rothko, Untitled, 1957, Oil on canvas, Rothko exhibition in Gemeentemuseum 2015, The Hague, Netherlands 2015

One comment on “Rothko”

  1. That’s why the Rothko Chapel in Houston is the perfect place to immerse oneself in his painting. Unfortunately, Mark Rothko committed suicide a year before the chapel opened.


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