Tuesday, June 15, 2010
untitled. mark rothko. sold at auction on may 12, 2010. $31,442,500.
I had the opportunity to see Red on Broadway. It recreates a period in time when Rothko was commissioned to create a series of canvases for the soon to be opened Four Season's restaurant in New York City. The story is told through the often fiery relationship between Rothko and his assistant, also a painter.
I was mesmerized as the story unfolded, certainly by the dialogue but especially by the set and the action. The entire play takes place in Rothko's studio, a paint splattered, cavernous space with no natural light. Some of the most intense and effective scenes took place in silence, as when the actors gracefully moved and hung the large canvases. And the peak moment for me was when the two men together primed a single canvas with blood-red primer, in a perfectly choreographed, athletically inspired, and creatively charged moment of artistic passion. I left the theatre eager to paint, which I thought was probably the best review I could give the show.
In thinking about Red, I realized that this was a color I rarely use in my artwork. Every so often it becomes a small accent. But I had to look back, all the way to 2008, to find the one and only piece I have made that is predominantly red in color. And how funny that "Harmony" also happens to be the first artwork I sold in my Etsy shop.