Tragedy, ecstasy and doom

“I want to raise painting to level of the poignancy of music…”

Mark Rothko

It is easy to think that a work by Mark Rothko is too simple to be any good. He would be okay with that, but would like you to add the word pure. Rothko’s iconic art morphed into uncluttered representational images, known as his sectional works. These have become his often divisive trademarks. The popular view is that they emerged after a family vacation to Europe. Rothko was taken with the looming walls of ancient greek temples. It is not so simple. In his personal writings Rothko had an obsession with the music of Mozart, believing it to a pure embodiment of tragedy, ectasy and doom. He believed the music was smiling through tears. Mark Rothko invariably listened to Mozart when painting these pieces. What he was trying to represent was the simple, unadorned and unobscured genius of the composer. #number1royalredandblue #letsmakelemonade

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