Orange, red, yellow

Rothko Mark • Painting, 1961, 236.2×206.4 cm
About the artwork
This artwork was added since it is referred to in the materials below
Art form: Painting
Style of art: Abstractionism
Technique: Acrylic
Materials: Canvas
Date of creation: 1961
Size: 236.2×206.4 cm
Artwork in selections: 31 selections

Description of the artwork «Orange, red, yellow»

If you search a puzzling question about the artist Rothko, he helpfully offered a few links to materials that provide explanations on the topic "Why Rothko painting "Orange, red, yellow" so expensive?". Mass inquiries began to arise from the bewilderment of the public after 2012, this painting by American artist broke the record at Christie's, becoming the most expensive work of postwar art at the time. For three rectangles with indistinct outlines, an unidentified collector paid 86 882 $ 500 – almost 30 million per.

What is the color?

Indeed, at first glance, the amount paid for a painting by Rothko, strikes the imagination more than the canvas. Especially when you consider that among the works of the artist there are many much more pleasing to the eye, and their color palette can at least justify the price (1, 2, 3, 4). So why is the painting "Orange, red, yellow" had the honour to exceed the original estimate by almost two times?

By the way, the artist himself is not particularly sought to create a nice looking color combinations. Moreover, he lost his temper when the value of his works tried to interpret from the point of view of criteria of "beauty" and hated when they called him a colorist: "The people who weep before my paintings, experience the same religious feelings that I did when I wrote them. And if you are moved only by their color relationship, then you do not understand".

Painting Rothko – as is the case when appropriate words "let's argue on taste of oysters and coconuts with those who ate them". In the sense that people alive who have seen the painting claim that the network is almost impossible to find photos fully convey the shades of the original. That is, if you have a look at the original picture, in fact, you don't even know what she looks like in reality.

Final verdicts of Rothko paintings at all difficult (and perhaps not necessary) to take the photos. Despite the fact that the artist in the process of finding means of expression tried to move away from notions of volume and perspective and generally tried to avoid any hint of them, even at my early paintings the subject (1, 2, 3), the abstract "colour field painting" creates the illusion of a palpable depth, if you see her live.

How to treat a Rothko?

Numerous reviews of eyewitnesses assert that the paintings of American abstract artist is able to literally absorb the beholder, creating a feeling that standing in front of the portal and look to inadvertently fail and emerges in another dimension. By the way, a significant difference can be felt when looking at the artist's work, at least on the video depicting his exhibition in museums or art galleries.

In the video frames clearly show through the nuances of applying paint to canvas, the degree of density/transparency, mixing layers at the boundaries of the rectangles. Photos don't transfer the glow from one of the paintings, and the glamor of others is magnified by the conditions in which they are exposed and combined with neighboring paintings and lighting.

By the way, the artist attached great importance to these factors. He could easily refuse the offer to present his paintings at the prestigious gallery if he did not guarantee compliance with all its requirements. And during the participation in the exhibition "15 Americans," mark Rothko all the time turning off a few lights in the room where he exhibited his work. This was of little help: it cost the artist to leave the gallery, the curator has included them in again appealing to the fact that otherwise goes too dim and gloomy.

Why Rothko painting "Orange, red, yellow" is so expensive?

For a start, let's see a reputable art critics. Columnist for the "new York times" Suren Melikyan noted that the work-record can confidently claim the title "the most powerful of the paintings of Rothko". And his colleague Kelly crow of the "wall Street Journal" describes the painting as "a trio of one yellow and two orange rectangles on a cherry red background, forming a palette of the same degree of appeal as a sunset or colorful Popsicles".

But it is likely that his record picture must not the fact that she really is the most impressive of all the works of Rothko. It could be a coincidence: for example, the presence of that day at the auction, representatives of three collectors, who wished at any cost to take over the creation of the famous abstractionist. They continued to bet after the proposal exceeded $ 70 million and the other contenders gave up. As a result, the competitors interrupt rate as long as the cost is not increased to a record amount.

Another factor that is pretty funny, the experts of the auction sphere. It mentions in your review of Kelly crow: "Historically, collectors tend to overpay for the work, written in gold or red, in contrast to the gray scale". Apparently, they are not so far from the truth, because the previous record in this category belonged to one of the paintings of Rothko. In 2007, at Sotheby's, the members of the Royal family of Qatar are the owners of the picture "White center (yellow, pink and lavender on red)" for $73 million.

Author: Natalia Azarenka