Mark Rothko @ Harvard

Mark Rothko, Untitled (Study for Harvard Murals) (Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museu
Mark Rothko, Untitled (Study for Harvard Murals) (Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of The Mark Rothko Foundation, Inc., © Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York)

Charles Kessler blogs about Mark Rothko's digitally restored Harvard Murals on view at the Harvard Art Museums through July 2, 2015.

Kessler writes that the exhibition "is not only about a group of Mark Rothko paintings done at the peak of his career, but it’s also about an ingenious restoration technique – a way to restore the color of these faded murals via non-invasive digital projections... The exhibition features a much-damaged five-panel mural that Rothko was commissioned to make in 1961-62 for the penthouse dining room of Harvard University’s Holyoke Center... 38 studies for the murals ... And, presented here for the first time, a sixth [undamaged] mural which was painted for the commission and held in reserve until Rothko decided which five paintings he wanted for the final installation." Kessler add that the viewing digital restorations "isn’t the same as viewing paint on canvas. It is after all projected light. Nevertheless, as can be seen at 4:00 every day when they shut the digital projection off so people can see what the faded work looks like, the digital projection definitely helps to bring these faded paintings back to life."