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White center (yellow, pink and lavender on red)

Painting, 1950, 205.8×141 cm

Description of the artwork «White center (yellow, pink and lavender on red)»

White Center (also known as "Yellow, pink and lavender on red") Is one of the most famous works of Mark Rothko. The painting was famous for the fact that in 2007 it set a record for the most expensive work of art of the post-war time, sold at auction. Then at Sotheby's auction it was acquired by members of the royal family of Qatar, who became the owners of the painting for almost 73 million dollars. Five years later, this record will be interrupted by another painting by Rothko: in 2012, an unknown collector paid about $ 87 million for the painting "Orange, red, yellow"At Christie's auction.

Why is the painting “White Center” so expensive? Firstly, it was written in 1950, when Rothko finally came to his corporate identity, which glorified it and made it one of the most recognizable artists of our time. It is also one of the largest (205.8 x 141 cm) and impressive sixteen canvases painted that year.

The picture is characterized by comfortable perception and an optimistic choice of colors, which is not always characteristic of Rothko's works. Take at least a comparison of several paintings of the same year (1, 2, 3) - their palette causes obsessive discomfort and the desire to quickly avoid it. The artist never sought to ensure that his work appeased or improved his appetite. His goal was to make the viewer experience deafening feelings - no matter what, with a minus or plus sign.

Moreover, sometimes Rothko consciously wanted to deprive people of his appetite with his works, as in the case of the panel Sigremovsky cycle. But the painting “The White Center” is not the case: on the contrary, its contemplation can raise the mood and even inspire optimism. Yellow, pink, lavender and red - with a single enumeration of flowers, a festive picture appears in the head, even if you do not look at it.

The author: Natalia Azarenko
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About the artwork

This artwork was added since it is referred to in the materials below

Art form: Painting

Style of art: Abstractionism

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1950

Size: 205.8×141 cm

Artwork in selections: 33 selections