Mark Rothko: Dark Palette

Mark Rothko, No. 22 (Untitled), 1961, oil, acrylic, and mixed media on canvas 79 1/2 x 69 1/2 inches. ©1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/Courtesy of the Mark Rothko Foundation/Albright Knox Art Gallery, B

Alfred Mac Adam reviews the recent exhibition Mark Rothko: Dark Palette at Pace Gallery, New York

Mac Adam observes: "The act of superimposing black on color ironically transforms the surface into a mirror that enables viewers to seek and lose themselves in the work. The paintings invite speculation, and speculation generates dynamic narrative, going “on to something else.” Ultimately, we are left with only the icon: masses of color superimposed on one another, the artistic conquest of the blank canvas. These ever-astounding works simply push the viewer further and further into interpretation. We want meaning, but the only meaning here is paint. We want emotion and spirituality when all we have is color."