Monday, August 26, 2013

DC Art: Mark Rothko

Green and Maroon detail (1953) by Mark Rothko
Green and Maroon detail (1953) by Mark Rothko, The Phillips Collection

The Rothko Room at the Phillips Collection, Washington, DCOne of my favorite places in Washington, DC is the Rothko Room at the Phillips Collection in the Dupont Circle neighborhood. The room is small and simple, just a single bench surrounded by four Rothko paintings. If you sit in the room facing one of the paintings you might experience a range of feelings that Rothko's art can evoke. The energy in the room is light and airy. The paintings seem to hum with an inner radiance. It's just right for meditation.

The National Gallery of Art has a large collection of Rothko paintings. Three were on display when I visited, including this one...

No. 14 White and Greens in Blue (1957) by Mark Rothko
These two photographs are details from No. 14 (White and Greens in Blue) (1957) by Mark Rothko, National Gallery of Art, East Building, Washington, DC

No. 14 White and Greens in Blue (1957) by Mark Rothko

In 2013 the Denver Art Museum had a show of Rothko's paintings from the 1940s, many on loan from the National Gallery's collection. As I walked through the exhibit I could almost see his early abstract shapes slowly moving into place, eventually becoming the later work he is best known for. Aside from the natural glow Rothko's paintings seem to have, I also like his diffuse shapes and the way his colors softly reach into each other. I tried to capture a bit of that with these photographs.

Here's a link to my favorite painting in the Denver Art Museum's show: Mark Rothko - Untitled 1947.

Camera: Nikon D7100 with AF Nikkor 50mm f1.4D lens; the Rothko Room photo was taken with an iPod Touch. Flash was turned off.

No comments: