Sunday, February 11, 2024

Rothko: Untitled, 1946

 If you have even a passing interest in 20th century art, the name Mark Rothko brings to mind images of large canvases with fuzzy-edged floating rectangles of color. An exhibit at the National Gallery of Art focuses on his works on paper, starting with a few early landscapes that already show signs of becoming more abstract. This painting, mostly washes of watercolor and lines of ink, owes a debt to Picasso's figures and also to the Greek art with mythological themes that Rothko studied at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Walking through the galleries, seeing Rothko's work develop and change, helped me to understand and appreciate those luscious abstracts of his final Classic period.