Eleven paintings by the American artist Mark Rothko just opened at the Boston Museum of Art. I went just before I headed to Martha's Vineyard for a few weeks. This small but intense show looks at Rothko's work both before and after the discovery of his main device of his signature rectangle in about 1948. Talk about epiphany! Imagine Rothko discovering this major vehicle, his presentational form. He stayed with it the rest of his life. Mark Rothko committed suicide in 1971.
I've always gone back to Rothko's work for stability, a kind of foundation or grounding of creative expression for me when feeling lost in my own thoughts, or looking for motivation. His paintings exude such power and cut through so much to arrive at something very fundamental.
You ask, how can just 11 paintings constitute an exhbition worth going to? The answer: if they are eleven paintings by this amazing 20th century master.
If you do go, give yourself a little time. These are not to be rushed through. Slow your clock, if you can.
There are three of the very late-in-his-career "black" paintings in the show. They are simliar to the ones in the Rothko Chapel in Houston (Chapel). I've been to see these several times. The ones at the MFA are smaller and precede the ones in Houston, which were commissioned. The paintings in the current show are exquisite, enveloping and will have a deep impact on you if you can let everything else go. Accessible, no, not very, but worth the effort if you are able to just be. Takes a while.
Mark Rothko at the MFA Boston, through July 1, 2018.
I referenced another Rothko in this blog from last spring: I Love Art