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Mark Rothko Quotes

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famous artist Mark Rothko Famous Mark Rothko Quotes and Sayings

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Inspirational Art Quotes by the famous American/ Russian / Latvian artist Mark Rothko
born Marcus Yakovlevich Rothkowitz - Dvinsk, Russian Empire (Now Latvia) - 25th of September, 1903 / Died New York, United States 25th of February, 1970
Famous Mark Rothko works include large abstract expressionist paintings which can evoke feelings of darkness and melancholy or lightness and the spiritual, depending on the colors and brushwork used.


"Mark Rothko Quotes"


+ A painting is not about an experience. It is an experience.

+ It was with the utmost reluctance that I found the figure could not serve my purposes. But a time came when none of us could use the figure without mutilating it.

+ The progression of a painter's work as it travels in time from point to point, will be toward clarity.. toward the elimination of all obstacles between the painter and the idea.. and the idea and the observer.. To achieve this clarity is inevitably to be understood.

+ I do not believe that there was ever a question of being abstract or representational. It is really a matter of ending this silence and solitude, of breathing, and stretching one’s arms again transcendental experiences became possible.

+ Since my pictures are large, colorful and unframed, and since museum walls are usually immense and formidable, there is the danger that the pictures relate themselves as decorative areas to the walls. This would be a distortion of their meaning, since the pictures are intimate and intense, and are the opposite of what is decorative.

+ I’m not an abstractionist. I’m not interested in the relationship of color or form or anything else. I’m interested only in expressing basic human emotions: tragedy, ecstasy, doom, and so on.

+ The people who weep before my pictures are having the same religious experience I had when I painted them. And if you, as you say, are moved only by their color relationships, then you miss the point!

+ It is a widely accepted notion among painters that it does not matter what one paints as long as it is well painted. This is the essence of academicism. There is no such thing as good painting about nothing.

+ I think of my pictures as dramas; the shapes in the pictures are the performers. They have been created from the need for a group of actors who are able to move dramatically without embarrassment and execute gestures without shame. Neither the action nor the actors can be anticipated, or described in advance.

+ The fact that people break down and cry when confronted with my pictures shows that I can communicate those basic human emotions.. the people who weep before my pictures are having the same religious experience I had when painting them. And if you say you are moved only by their color relationships then you miss the point.

+ One does not paint for design students or historians but for human beings, and the reaction in human terms is the only thing that is really satisfactory to the artist.

+ I paint very large pictures. I realize that historically the function of painting large pictures is painting something very grandiose and pompous. The reason I paint them, however – I think it applies to other painters I know – is precisely because I want to be very intimate and human. To paint a small picture is to place yourself outside your experience. However you paint the larger picture, you are in it.


List of Mark Rothko Quotes
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