Saturday, February 11, 2012

Mark Rothko: Seagram Murals

Where: National Gallery of Art, East Building

When: through April 15, 2012

 I had quite a time finding this exhibit, so I'm going to give detailed instructions on how to find it - you can benefit from my confusion!  First of all, the website indicates that this is on the ground level, the same floor as the Antico exhibit.  This is incorrect.  It is, in fact, on the concourse level, down a flight of stairs from the small gift shop outpost in the East Building.  Proceed to your right, past the Matisse cut-outs, which have their own separate room.  If you get to the Calder mobiles, you've gone too far.

Okay, now that you know how to get to the paintings, let me tell you what you'll see once there.  Rothko was given a commission to design some paintings for the Four Seasons dining room in the Seagrams Building.  He got a little carried away, and painted 30 pieces, when the space could only fit seven.  Eventually, he decided that a restaurant was not the best venue for his works and abandoned the commission.  On display are three of his works (if I'd known the exhibit was so small, I would have combined this with the Antico exhibit).  The colors are all what you see above - red/rust with orange - not the happiest combination, in my view.

Verdict: Why not have a look at them if you're in the East Building for something else?  I wouldn't necessarily make a separate trip, but it might be worth it if you're a Rothko fan. 

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