[Seagram murals study]

1986.56.647
Date
Dimensions
4 3/4 x 20 1/16 in. (11.9 x 51 cm)
Estate/Inventory Number
H 25.1
Collection
National Gallery of Art, Gift of the Mark Rothko Foundation, Inc., 1986.56.647. © Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko
References
Ashton, Dore. About Rothko. New York, 1983: 153.
Clearwater, Bonnie. Mark Rothko: Works on Paper. American Federation of Arts, New York, 1984: 46.
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).
Kellein, Thomas, ed. Mark Rothko: Kaaba in New York. Kunsthalle Basel, Basel, Switzerland, 1989: 14–15, 15n28, 40, 44, 53 (color).
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).
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: fig. 1 (color).
Hayashi, Sumi. “Creation of an Intimate Place: Three Series of Murals.” In Mark Rothko, by David Anfam et al. Tokyo Shimbun, Tokyo, 1995: 219, 52–53 (color).
Anfam, David, Nobuyuki Hiromoto, Sumi Hayashi, and Naoko Seki. Mark Rothko. Tokyo Shimbun, Tokyo, 1995: 219, 52–53 (color).
Nodelman, Sheldon. The Rothko Chapel Paintings: Origins, Structure, Meaning. Austin, TX, 1997: 97, plate 18 (color).
Wick, Oliver, et al. Mark Rothko. Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona, Spain, 2000: 164, 111 (color).
Borchardt-Hume, Achim, ed. Rothko: The Late Series. Tate Modern, London, 2008: 227, 105 (color).
Hubbard, Sue. “A Space to Daydream.” New Statesman, October 6, 2008: 38–39 (color).
Lewis, Ben. “What’s it all about, Rothko?” Evening Standard, September 26, 2008: 42 (reproduced).
Wilker, Annie, and Jens Stenger. Mark Rothko’s Mural Sketches: Materials and Use / Scientific Analysis. Cambridge, MA, 2009: 2–4, figs. 6, 11, 12, 13 (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. Four parallel vertical creases in the current sheet may be accidental or may testify to the artist’s interest in cropping the composition in order to isolate elements from the overall composition.
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