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Museum of Fine Arts Boston presents:

Mark Rothko: Reflection

An Immersive display of 11 masterpieces by Mark Rothko (1903-70), on loan from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, invites visitors to contemplate the power of art to shape human experience. the installation opens with Rothko’s early paining Thru the Window (1938), on public view in the US for the first time, and Artist in his Studio (about 1628) by Rembrandt — portraits of artists reflecting on the act of painting. Contrary to notions that Rothko’s work represented a dramatic break past traditions, the side-by-side comparison positions him within the broader history of Western art. The exhibition’s other Rothko paintings showcase the full sweep of his career — from early surrealist work to multiform compositions to classic color field paintings —  and trace his exploration of the expressive  potential of color. Enveloped by the large-scale paintings in an intimate setting, viewers can experience Rothko’s work as the artist had originally intended.


The Rothko’s are presented as part of a larger exhibition entitled, “Seeking Stillness” which leads visitors on a journey of introspection, focusing on themes such as spaces of contemplation; the artistic  process as a form of meditation; and nature as a site for clearing the mind.  Spanning three galleries, “Seeking Stillness” places together works by a broad range of modern and contemporary artists – including Edward Weston, Agnes Martin, Park Seo Bo and Zhan Wang. When viewing the Rothko color field paintings, the viewer is invited to stand in front of the work for a full minute and watch as the  subtle shifts in color emerge.


Below is a slideshow of a few pieces from the Rothko and Seeking Stillness shows, as well as additional favorites, such as the woodblock prints of German printmaker, Christiane Baumgartner. The music accompanying the slide show is by my friend and talented composer, Tobin Mueller, entitled “Sitting with Satie: Conversation & Life” from his album, Impressions of Water and Light, jazz interpretations of Impression era composers such as Satie, Debussy and Ibert.