Mark Rothko
Edited and with an introduction by Christopher Rothko
Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, 2004, 2006 English
Nonfiction, Art and Cultural History
9 x 7 inches, paperback, 176 pages, 7 color illustrations
ISBN: 9780300115857
Suggested Retail Price: $22.00

From the Publisher. One of the most important artists of the twentieth century, Mark Rothko (1903–1970) created a new and impassioned form of abstract painting over the course of his career. Rothko also wrote a number of essays and critical reviews during his lifetime, adding his thoughtful, intelligent, and opinionated voice to the debates of the contemporary art world. Although the artist never published a book of his varied and complex views, his heirs indicate that he occasionally spoke of the existence of such a manuscript to friends and colleagues. Stored in a New York City warehouse since the artist’s death more than thirty years ago, this extraordinary manuscript, titled The Artist’s Reality, is now being published for the first time.

Probably written around 1940–41, this revelatory book discusses Rothko’s ideas on the modern art world, art history, myth, beauty, the challenges of being an artist in society, the true nature of “American art,” and much more. The Artist’s Reality also includes an introduction by Christopher Rothko, the artist’s son, who describes the discovery of the manuscript and the complicated and fascinating process of bringing the manuscript to publication. The introduction is illustrated with a small selection of relevant examples of the artist’s own work as well as with reproductions of pages from the actual manuscript.

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Ian Ritchie

Having visited the Whitechapel Art Gallery not long ago to listen to an archive recording of John Hoyland talking about his art, he mentioned Rothko, whom he knew. I found this book of his writings in the gallery’s bookshop. It has been a revelation and convinced me of Rothko’s strength and breadth of mind.

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