[Seagram murals study]

1986.56.635
Date
Support
Dimensions
4 1/4 x 16 7/8 in. (10.6 x 42.9 cm)
Estate/Inventory Number
H 25.2
Collection
National Gallery of Art, Gift of the Mark Rothko Foundation, Inc., 1986.56.635. © Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko
References
Ashton, Dore. About Rothko. New York, 1983: 153, 213, plate 13 (color).
Clearwater, Bonnie. Mark Rothko: Works on Paper. American Federation of Arts, New York, 1984: 46, 134, cat. 44 (color).
Compton, Michael. Mark Rothko: The Seagram Mural Project. Tate Gallery Liverpool, Liverpool, UK, 1988: 12, 16n28.
Compton, Michael. “Introduction into the Seagram Mural Project.” In Mark Rothko: Kaaba in New York, edited by Thomas Kellein. Kunsthalle Basel, Basel, Switzerland, 1989: 14–15, 15n28, 53 (color) [illustrated upside down].
Kellein, Thomas, ed. Mark Rothko: Kaaba in New York. Kunsthalle Basel, Basel, Switzerland, 1989: 14–15, 15n28, 40, 44, 53 (color) [illustrated upside down].
Kellein, Thomas. “Mark Rothko–Kaaba In New York.” In Mark Rothko: Kaaba in New York, edited by Thomas Kellein. Kunsthalle Basel, Basel, Switzerland, 1989: 40, 44, 53 (color) [illustrated upside down].
Bruno, Vincent J. “Mark Rothko and the Second Style: The Art of the Color-Field in Roman Murals.” In Eius Virtutis Studiosi: Classical and Postclassical Studies in Memory of Frank Edward Brown (1908–1988), edited by Russell T. Scott and Ann Reynolds Scott. Studies in the History of Art [National Gallery of Art], vol. 43. Washington, 1993: 236–237, fig. 2 (color).
Darling, Janina K. Margaret Rinkovsky: The “Odyssey Landscapes” Reconsidered. Art Museum of Santa Cruz County, Santa Cruz, CA, 1995: 13, ill. 7 (b/w).
Wick, Oliver, et al. Mark Rothko. Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona, Spain, 2000: 164, 110 (color).
Fer, Briony. “Rothko and Repetition.” In Seeing Rothko, edited by Glenn Phillips and Thomas Crow. Los Angeles, CA, 2005: 170, plate 45 (color).
Phillips, Glenn, and Thomas Crow, eds. Seeing Rothko. Los Angeles, CA, 2005: 170, plate 45 (color).
Borchardt-Hume, Achim, ed. Rothko: The Late Series. Tate Modern, London, 2008: 227, 105 (color).
Wilker, Annie, and Jens Stenger. Mark Rothko’s Mural Sketches: Materials and Use / Scientific Analysis. Cambridge, MA, 2009: 3–4, fig. 6 (color).
Remarks
In June 1958, Rothko accepted a commission to paint a series of canvases for the Four Seasons restaurant in the Seagram Building, New York, the skyscraper designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson and completed that year. In 1958 and 1959 Rothko painted about thirty large-scale canvases for the project, of which seven would likely have been installed had he not abandoned the project in 1959. Rothko made six preliminary studies, including the current work, three in crayon and three in a water-based medium, likely poster paint. Almost certainly made prior to the works on canvas [Dore Ashton, About Rothko (New York, 1983), 153], these small works on paper explore a horizontal frieze-like scheme of architectonic forms evocative of the framed portals that eventually manifested in the canvases. A single vertical crease in the current sheet may be accidental or may testify to the artist’s interest in cropping the composition.
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