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.
The Artist's Reality will be a classic text for years to come, offering insight into both the work and the artistic philosophies of this great painter.
Publisher: Yale University Press
Number of pages: 176
Weight: 363 g
Dimensions: 229 x 178 x 11 mm
"The rediscovered book manuscript . . . adds an important document to the literature of modern American art."-Kenneth Baker, San Francisco Chronicle
"The book is an enormously important art history document because, oddly, it is unsurprising. It confirms what the best critics have always seen in Rothko's work: the desire to go beyond the historical moment, beyond the accidental detail, beyond nation or culture, even the self, to arrive at a transcendent and universal experience, to arrive at, as he puts it, the myth."-Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times Magazine
"The book broaches a poetics of space that would finally place Rothko's art among the more uncommon visual achievements of the 20th Century."-David Anfam, The Art Newspaper
"A deceptively slender volume. . . . Reflects the author's intense intellectual curiosity and ambition."-Phoebe Hoban, New York Times
". . . a remarkable book . . . it should be required reading for every teacher and every student of art history and philosophy of art."-The Art Book
"Rothko's book is fascinating . . . captur[ing] a moment of intense perception into the nature of art by one of its chief practitioners."-The Royal Academy Magazine
"The Artist's Reality will be a classic text for years to come, offering insight into both the work and the artistic philosophies of this great painter."-Antiques Magazine