OPENING OF THE EXHIBITION ” MARK ROTHKO” AT THE FONDATION LOUIS VUITTON
The Fondation Louis Vuitton is pleased to announce the public opening of its new exhibition “Rothko”, starting today.
Presenting the first retrospective in France dedicated to Mark Rothko (1903-1970) since the exhibition held at the musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris in 1999, the retrospective brings together some 115 works from the largest international institutional and private collections, including the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., the artist’s family, and the Tate Gallery in London. Displayed chronologically across all of the Fondation’s spaces, the exhibition traces the artist’s entire career: from his earliest figurative paintings to the abstract works that he is most known for today.
The exhibition opens with intimate scenes and urban landscapes – such as visions of the New York subway – that dominate Rothko’s output in the 1930s, before his transition to a repertoire inspired by ancient myths and surrealism which Rothko uses to express the tragic dimension of the human condition during the War.
From 1946, Rothko makes an important shift towards abstract expressionism. The first phase of this switch is that of Multi-forms, where chromatic masses are suspended in a kind of equilibrium on the canvas. Gradually, these decrease in number, and the spatial organization of his painting evolves rapidly towards Rothko’s “classic” works of the 1950s, where rectangular shapes overlap according to a binary or ternary rhythm, characterized by shades of yellow, red, ochre, orange, but also blue, white…
While Rothko favors darker tones and muted contrasts since the late 1950s, the artist never completely abandons his palette of bright colors, as evidenced by several paintings from 1967 and by the last red painting left unfinished in his studio.
These works are displayed in the tallest room in the Frank Gehry building, alongside Alberto Giacometti’s large-scale sculptural figures, creating an environment that is close to what Rothko had in mind for a UNESCO commission that was never realized.
The permanence of Rothko’s questioning, his desire for wordless dialogue with the viewer, and his refusal to be seen as a “colorist” are all elements allowing a new interpretation of his multifaceted work in this exhibition.
From October 18th 2023 until April 2nd 2024, at the Fondation Louis Vuitton.