This extraordinary book is the first volume of the definitive catalogue raisonne of the work of Mark Rothko, one of the greatest abstract artists of the twentieth century. It documents Rothko's entire output of paintings on canvas and panel, reproducing all the works in color. An introductory text also investigates every essential feature of Rothko's art. David Anfam explores the underestimated variety as well as the amazing continuity of Rothko's pictures. These include the images for which Rothko is famous, the large, hypnotic, and poignant fields of color along with almost 400 further pictures that reveal a far less well known figure who was attuned by turns to realism, expressionism, surrealism, and the avant-garde issues of his era. Anfam presents a radical overview of Rothko's achievement, offering an analysis of its sources and themes: these extend from a study of such old masters as Rembrandt and Vermeer to his eventual groundbreaking vision of painting as an environment, expressed in the mural cycles and the architectural framework of the Rothko Chapel in Houston. Anfam pays special attention to the physical makeup of the paintings, as well as to Rothko's innovative sense of space, color, and surface, his complex technical procedures, and the symbolism of the work. This is combined with an account of Rothko's stylistic evolution and its chronology, tracing its development from figuration to an abstract vision imbued with a profound grasp of how the viewer has an interactive role to play in perceiving the works. The volume also includes the most extensive Rothko bibliography ever published. The fruit of almost a decade of research, this monumental publication is the reference point for all future studies of Rothko's art.
About the Author
David Anfam is a leading authority on modern American art. A regular contributor to The Burlington Magazine, he is the curator of several major Rothko exhibitions. His publications include Abstract Expressionism and Franz Kline: Black & White, 1950-1961.