Rare View of Rothko at Academy Art Museum Exhibition in Easton, MD

On February 4, 2012, the Academy Art Museum in Easton, MD, in collaboration with the National Gallery of Art, will open Mark Rothko: Selections from the National Gallery of Art. This groundbreaking exhibition, on display through April 22, 2012, will feature graphic artwork and paintings of Mark Rothko, including seven works which have never been on public view before.

One of the preeminent artists of his generation, Mark Rothko (1903-1970) was a leader of the Abstract Expressionist movement. The Russian born artist is also closely identified with the New York School of Painters that emerged during the 1940s as a new collective voice in American art. During a career that spanned five decades, he created a new and impassioned form of abstract painting. Rothko’s work is characterized by rigorous attention to formal elements such as color, shape, balance, depth, composition, and scale. He was also fascinated by human psychology and the state of the mind.

This exhibition will include not only the iconic color paintings of the 1950s and 1960s, but also works from the 1930s and 40s when Rothko employed more representational and symbolic imagery. In the pre-World War II years, Rothko began to express the tragedy of the human condition, while looking for new subjects and a new idiom. He said, “It was with the utmost reluctance that I found the figure could not serve my purposes….But a time came when none of us could use the figure without mutilating it.” By the late 1940s, Rothko had virtually eliminated all elements of surrealism or mythic imagery from his works, and nonobjective compositions of indeterminate shapes emerged. He also largely abandoned conventional titles, sometimes resorting to numbers or colors in order to distinguish one work from another. The artist also now resisted explaining the meaning of his work. “Silence is so accurate,” he said, fearing that words would only paralyze the viewer’s mind and imagination.

The exhibition is sponsored by the Maryland State Arts Council and the Talbot County Arts Council. A Members’ Reception will be held on Friday, February 3, 2012, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. A Gallery Talk on the Rothko exhibition by Anke Van Wagenberg, Curator, will be held on Friday, February 3, 2012, at 6 p.m. Curator-Led Tours will be held on Tuesday, February 21, at 11 a.m.; Wednesday, February 29, at 1 p.m.; Monday, March 12, at 11 a.m.; and Wednesday, April 11, at 11 a.m.

On Friday, February 10, 2012 at noon, at the Academy Art Museum, Harry Cooper, Head of the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Art will present a lecture, “Looking at Rothko.” The cost is $20 for Museum members and $30 for non-members and it includes a light lunch.

Admission to the Museum is $3 for non–members, children under 12 admitted free. The Museum is open Monday and Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. with extended hours on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday hours are 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The First Friday of each month, the Museum is open until 7 p.m. The Museum is located at 106 South St., Easton, MD, 21601. For general Museum information, call 410-822-ARTS (2787) or visit: www.academyartmuseum.org.