Mark Rothko: “A Consummated Experience between Picture and Onlooker”

This exhibition, which included 72 canvases and 29 works on paper, took as its focus Rothko’s commitment to creating and controlling the conditions for viewing his work. It highlighted a selection of installations of which Rothko approved, including a gallery of canvases first hung at the Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, in 1960, and a series of murals installed at the Holyoke Center at Harvard University in 1964. The show also included works related to a mural commission for the dining room of the Seagram Building in New York that Rothko accepted in 1958 and abandoned the following year. On view were studies for the murals as well as a scale cardboard model that the artist used in 1969 to arrange the installation of nine Seagram mural paintings that the artist donated to the Tate. The Fondation Beyeler also displayed a selection of canvases hung together at Sidney Janis Gallery in New York in 1955 at Rothko’s first solo show there. Mark Rothko: “A Consummated Experience between Picture and Onlooker” was organized by Oliver Wick (then curator at the Fondation Beyeler). It was shown in Barcelona under a different title and with seventeen fewer works.

  • "Mark Rothko: A Consummated Experience between Picture and Onlooker" (2001)