The one hosted by Fondation Louis Vuitton is the artist’s first retrospective in France, bringing together more than one hundred works selected from major international institutions and private collections.

Mark Rothko

Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris

From October 18th, 2023 until April 2nd, 2024


Mark Rothko’s “tragic masterpieces” perfectly represent the artist’s own existential tragedy; there is never a sharp, recognizable subject, instead the canvases seek to create a deep emotional connection with the viewer. His abstract language is unique and personal, the real sense and character of his painting is precisely what has allowed the artist to tell the world about the complex vision behind his work. A clear and well-defined realization, divided paint surface and homogeneous distribution of color are recognizable features of each of his paintings. Color is another pivotal element in his artistic-creative research and development, always veering toward a bright and vivid color palette. Inside the Foundation’s spaces, the works are arranged in chronological order, recounting the artist’s different phases and investigating his career in depth. “I became a painter because I wanted to raise painting to the level of poignancy of music and poetry”, argues the artist. His is indeed an essential painting, reduced to a minimum, effective, direct and sincere, made of pure chromatics, in its most luminous and vibrant expression. Mystery also always envelops his work, a contemplative and profound aura lets the eyes completely immerse themselves in his brushstrokes, imperceptible and light. Color takes on a strong emotional and spiritual value. The goal of his work is to awaken authentic, hidden and pure sensations and emotions in the viewer, to stimulate a sensitive unconscious that is nurtured only through art forms. Thus, Rothko’s great questioning, his desire for a wordless dialogue with the viewer, and his refusal to be considered a “colorist” are elements that allow for a new interpretation of his multifaceted work within the exhibition.

Mark Rothko, No. 9No. 5No. 18, 1952.
Private collection.
© 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko - Adagp, Paris, 2023.

“I became a painter because I wanted to raise painting to the level of poignancy of music and poetry.”

– Mark Rothko

Mark Rothko, Green on Blue, 1956.
Collection of The University of Arizona Museum of Art, Tucson; Gift of Edward Joseph Gallagher, Jr.
© 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko - Adagp, Paris, 2023.
Mark Rothko, Light Cloud, Dark Cloud, 1957.
Collection of the Modern Art Museum Fort Worth, Museum purchase, The Benjamin J. Tillar Memorial Trust.
© 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko - Adagp, Paris, 2023.
Mark Rothko, No. 10, 1957.
The Menil Collection, Houston.
© 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko - Adagp, Paris, 2023.




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