HAPPENINGText: Anthony Augendre

Mark Rothko (1903-1970) at Musee d’art Moderne de Paris. It was only the second time that the French audience had the opportunity to penetrate into the minimal landscape work of Mark Rothko and for most of the people discover this great American painter. The first exhibition happened in 1962 so Parisians were both curious and exited by this huge retrospective organized thanks to the contribution of a French major companie which owns the big shop “Le printemps“.

The exhibition was constituted of 70 paintings selected from 1935 to 1969 period. From realism to surrealism then to the final state, the abstract paintings period, his particular style evolved with deep maturity. We can easily qualify Mark Rothko as one of the main abstract precursor painter coming from the post war period.

Every forms, every representations are disintegrated and transformed into limitless canvas that launch the audience into a strange meditation. You are gently forced to focus on color. It’s not really monochrome pigments but it’s certainly colors made with a secret approach cause you are really hypnotized and you can stay there gazing at the wall without moving.

It seems that Rothko was deeply influenced by Zen Buddhist theory but there is no message here. You are totally free to evolve against to the theorists who created a so called communication system. He tried to reach initial feelings, naked from superficial plastic fantasy. The Parisian exhibition is mainly inspired by this esthetic.

Mark Rothko Exhibition
Date: January 14th – April 18th, 1999
Place: Musee d’art Moderne de Paris
Address: 11 Av. du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris
Tel: +33 (0)1 5367 4000

Text: Anthony Augendre

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