Exquisite Rothko masterpiece sold at bargain price of $46.5 million


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Someday someone is going to put together all the Rothkos and realize each one was just a tiny piece of a giant image. It will be a beautiful, impressionistic image of Mark Rothko’s face laughing.


Can you imagine how much it would have cost if it had two giant blue stripes?


I promised myself I wouldn’t go a penny over $45 million – and I didn’t – but I’m regretting it a little now…


The emperor is wearing no clothes.



Yeah, yeah. But it doesn’t compare to one of a hundred identical Yves Klein monochromes uniformly spray-painted what would eventually come to be known as International Klein Blue. If you’re really lucky you can nab one with a sea sponge nailed to it before being spray-painted. (Well I have to admit I do like ultramarine.)

  1. When you look at modern art, especially from that time period, you have to look at the CONTEXT. Nearly all of the art from that time was a rebellion against another movement. So to see why they started doing X, you have to see it was because people were doing Y, and they were like ‘fuck that, this is real art’.

  2. Rothkos in person are fucking impressive. They are generally on a HUGE canvas.


That’s why he’s considered important – and I’m only partially joking when I say that.

I once went through a MOMA catalog (I think it was MOMA – it was a while ago) and noticed that the paintings they characterized as “Important” were – without exception – huge. And yes, the ones they characterized as minor were smaller.

(In full disclosure I’m actually fond of Rothko’s paintings… less so the collecting world.)



Mr. Florczak may have some moralistic bias polluting his argument. IMHO, art requires skill, but not beauty or purity.

Perhaps the Rothko isn’t actually art, but expression, more like free speech?


I am by no means knowledgeable about art. And this guy seems to make some points I tend to agree with and other points I tend not to agree with. But, fuck, does he seem like an arrogant asshole.


Why do you HAVE to view it in context? Not saying his work is not important in terms of art history, but is X’s work a great piece of art simply because Y was doing something else at the time? In this case, to me, it’s like saying, “you had to be there” when you tell me a very unfunny story. Yeah, maybe. But I’m still not gonna laugh.


Prager university. what a great source.

http://debigotizer.tumblr.com/post/85735716782/on-prager-university has some good info. But te main point against it is the suggested video immediately following the modern art one; it’s entitled “feminism vs truth,” and is also by prager university.


You don’t HAVE to, of course. Art can speak to you on many levels. But your average person will have a greater appreciation for art in general if they know the WHY behind it. Other wise all you get is “my 5 year old can paint like that”.

I mean that is true with anything. An old NES game sucks compared to most things today, but something like Zelda that ALLOWED YOU TO SAVE THE GAME was freaking mind blowing at the time! Classic rap is much too slow and stilted, but you can see where modern rap came from and how it influenced house music and other genres.


I spent 30 minutes staring them down at the Phillips last summer.


I really wanted to like the work, or even appreciate it, really. Sadly couldn’t. Art is like oxygen to me, and I came to the pieces from an informed viewpoint, yet they were too challenging for me. I’ve cried (reserved, art museum and airplane movie crying) tears at other AbExers; deKooning in particular. And I’ve immersed myself in Pollock and appreciate (though don’t love) the later work.

Rothko, not so much. Couldn’t get into him.




I understand where you’re coming from, but… it seems to me that while context can certainly be one factor in judging art, it shouldn’t be the ONLY factor required for said art to be considered “great” instead of just a historical footnote ( which I think Rothko’s stuff more closely resembles). Yeah, Zelda was innovative in a way not obvious to those viewing it now, out of context, but those innovations weren’t just there to be innovative, or revolutionary. They were there because they had a value beyond that “revolutionary” label. I’m just not seeing that with Rothko.


I’m now a bit concerned that if I repaint the bathroom and don’t get the lines between colours perfectly straight, I may get done for art forgery.