Mark Rothko, Untitled watercolor, untitled watercolor, late 1920's, (courtesy of National Gallery of Art)
An extensive 2009 history of Mark Rothko's life and work in Portland, Oregon by Arcy Douglass; posted here on the occasion of the Mark Rothko Retrospective exhibition on view at the Portland Museum of Art, Oregon through May 17, 2012.
Douglass' reasearch examines "the time that Mark Rothko had spent in Portland and what implications, if any, it might have had on his mature work." The post includes a detailed account of Rothko's childhood and includes curiosities such as Doubon's Bride, a short story Rothko wrote at age 16.
NPR's Pat Dowell looks at the Rothko Chapel and its 40 year history. In addition to the All Things Considered audio podcast, Dowell's web feature also offers podcast interviews with Rothko Chapel Executive Director Emilee Dawn Whitehurst, author Susan Barnes, and Christopher Rothko.
The Rothko Chapel is one of the few places where the work of a single artist defines the space. In his interview with NPR, Christopher Rothko, the artist's son, notes that Rothko was interested in expanding the expressive possibilities of painting through a controlled installation of related works:
"He really wanted to engage his view in something much, much deeper… so he was really pursuing this idea of rooms, of installations, then ultimately with the chapel where he could control almost all parameters to maximize that effect and really have that communication with the viewer, not simply have what I call the.. "drive by effect" in the museum where you see the painting, you sort of note it out of the corner of your eye and then you're on to the next thing."
A must read article: David Levine revisits the scandal and trial surrounding the Mark Rothko estate from a moving, personal perspective. Levine's father, Morton Levine was a close friend of Rothko and an executor of the estate along with painter Theodoros Stamos and accountant Bernard Reis.
Levine writes: "Black-and-white photos of cocktail parties; that was their scene... There's Mom hanging out with Rothko and Stamos in the living room; there's Mom smoking a cigarette in Rothko's studio; there's Rothko sitting on the edge of his bed. I grew up in a house full of photos of Rothko, and not a single photo of my dad. He's always out of the picture. He's always the one taking the picture."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.