COLUMBIA MUSEUM OF ART SHEDS NEW LIGHT ON ACHIEVEMENTS OF MARK ROTHKO
with exhibition, scholarly catalogue and engaging related programs
COLUMBIA, SC - Mark Rothko, one of the most masterful and iconic of 20th-century American artists, struggled in obscurity for many years before developing the powerful body of work for which he is now remembered. From September 14, 2012 to January 6, 2013, in Mark Rothko: The Decisive Decade 1940-1950, the Columbia Museum of Art explores these formative years. The landmark exhibition brings to the fore 37 works of art, including paintings, watercolors, drawings and prints, largely drawn from the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington and exhibited for the first time in two decades.
“This exhibition explores Rothko’s work in the 1940s in a way that has never been done before,” director, Earl A. Powell III, said. “The National Gallery of Art is delighted to make this exhibition possible and contribute to the scholarly catalogue. This is part of our commitment to have more of our permanent collection viewed by the American public.”
“We are excited about this exhibition for its contributions to understanding Rothko more fully,” executive director, Karen Brosius, said. “The show brings to Columbia and South Carolina the art of a modern American master, providing a special opportunity for everyone in the region. We believe visitors will be absorbed by Rothko’s powerful and mystical style of painting. In addition, the accompanying catalogue explores a period of Rothko’s development – the 1940s – that has received little attention and yet had a profound effect on his late career. We are bringing new scholarship to art history.”
The Columbia Museum of Art is producing a full-color, 170-page catalogue entitled Mark Rothko: The Decisive Decade 1940-1950, published by Skira Rizzoli Publications, Inc. Edited by University of South Carolina professor Dr. Bradford R. Collins, this catalogue features an essay by Mark Rothko’s son, Christopher Rothko, and essays by three internationally noted Rothko scholars: David Anfam, Harry Cooper and Ruth Fine.
“This publication will be of great interest both to the serious student of art history who needs to understand how Rothko became Rothko, but also to the art lover who wants help in gaining a general understanding of a complex artist,” CMA chief curator, Will South, said. “This book is thoroughly researched, skillfully written, and generously insightful. And, it is beautifully designed and a sensual pleasure to peruse.”
This is the first significant exhibition of Mark Rothko’s work to be on display in South Carolina. The exhibition was realized by the current chief curator Will South and developed by former Columbia Museum of Art chief curator Todd Herman. This exhibition is organized by the Arkansas Art Center, the Columbia Museum of Art, the Columbus Museum of Art and the Denver Art Museum, in conjunction with the National Gallery of Art, Washington. First Citizens Bank is the presenting sponsor for the Columbia presentation.
“This is not an exhibition that needs to justify its existence,” the artist’s son, Christopher Rothko, said. “On the contrary, the only thing that needs to be explained is its tardiness, because within the realm of Rothko’s oeuvre, the works in this exhibition are the key to everything. Everything.”
The work from the 1940s is rarely seen by the public and often elicits a response of utter surprise because it is so unlike the work for which the artist is justly famous. In the 1930s, Rothko was painting figures based on the work of his influential teachers, Max Weber and Milton Avery, also represented in this exhibition. However, the artistic style known as Surrealism, where dreams, accident and chance play a large role in creativity, took on increasing appeal for him. By 1940, Rothko was practicing what is called “automatic drawing,” that is, drawing not meant to represent the details of things we can see but rather the energy of things we feel. This then-radical way of thinking began to transform both Rothko and the art he made.
Visitors discover how the artist studied mythology and dreams and voraciously read the works of the psychologists Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud. Rothko sought, as he said, symbols that were tragic and timeless, that expressed “man’s primitive fears and motivations no matter in which land or what time.” A great example of this in the show is entitled The Omen of the Eagle, 1942, taken from Greek mythology. The artist himself explained it this way: “The picture deals not with the particular anecdote, but rather with the Spirit of Myth, which is generic to all myths at all times. It involves a pantheism in which man, bird, beast and tree – the known as well as the knowable – merge into a single tragic idea.
Walking through the exhibition, visitors see the recognizable parts of The Omen and the Eagle begin to disappear into the swirling and rhythmic lines of The Rites of Lilith, 1945, as Rothko keeps moving toward a new kind of art. By the end of the decade, he achieves his signature style in works like his Untitled of 1949 where a horizontal band of yellow floats in a muted violet rectangle, all of which sit upon a vast sea of red beneath. Color and its expert organization is now his style, and his mastery of it calls out our emotions and sense of mystery. Rothko himself believed this late style was not abstract, but rather that it conveyed the very real universal human experiences of “tragedy, ecstasy and doom.” Visiting this exhibition is an opportunity to trace the artist’s steps toward a new and powerful way of making art. In addition, many of Rothko’s influencers and supporters are seen in the exhibition, including artists Arshile Gorky, Robert Motherwell, Jackson Pollock and Clyfford Still.
Contributing sponsors are Hannah & Ron Rogers, Mrs. Joyce Martin Hampton and The Vein Clinic. Supporting sponsors include: Mr. and Mrs. Ben D. Arnold, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph R. Blanchard, Dr. Suzan D. Boyd and Mr. M. Edward Sellers, Mrs. Ethel Brody, Mr. and Mrs. David E. Dukes, Ms. Cheryl R. Holland and Mr. P. Douglas Quackenbush, The Joye Cottage Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Robert H. Kennedy, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Stephen G. Morrison and Dr. Suzanne R. Thorpe and Dr. John W. Baynes.
The book is available in hard cover ($50) and soft cover ($29.95) in the Museum Shop.
After its showing at the Columbia Museum of Art, the exhibition travels to the Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio (February 1 – May 26, 2013), the Denver Art Museum (June 16 – September 29, 2013) and the Arkansas Art Center (October 25, 2013 – February 9, 2014).
Supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and Humanities.
To purchase tickets or register for these programs, visit columbiamuseum.org.
Gallery Tour: Mark Rothko: The Decisive Decade 1940-1950
Every Saturday | 1:00 p.m.
A guided tour of the exhibition, Mark Rothko: The Decisive Decade 1940-1950,offers insight into Mark Rothko and his works. Free with membership or admission.
Abstract Art Lecture Series: “My Four-Year-Old Could Do That!”
Every Wednesday, September 5 – 26 | 10:00 a.m.
Abstract art continues to puzzle and provoke: Just what is its purpose, anyway? Over the years, many have assumed that abstract artists were merely interested in shocking us; others felt abstract painting was a substitute for those who couldn’t really draw. Still others have seen it as mostly a decorative enterprise-art for art’s sake. And, yes, there have been those who find abstract art the most compelling and meaningful art ever made. This series of talks with CMA chief curator, Will South, reviews the idea of abstraction itself (musical notes are abstract, aren’t they? And we love those!), and traces in a general, humorous yet meaningful way the role abstraction has played in visual culture. You may rethink art and your four-year-old. $60 for the series /$45 for the series for members / $15 single lecture tickets.
Films from MoMA: Frank Stella at the Fogg
Thursday, September 6 | Noon
Saturday, September 15 | 1:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 29 | 1:00 p.m.
Films from MoMA is a new series at CMA providing access to an unparalleled collection of rare films and videos from the Museum of Modern Art’s Department of Film. In 1983, Frank Stella was invited by Harvard to give the Charles Norton Eliot lectures; the following winter, he was featured in an exhibition at the Fogg Art Museum entitled Frank Stella Selected Works. Frank Stella at the Fogg documents a gallery talk and interview with Stella during the show. Beginning with paintings he made in 1958 and continuing through his work from the early 1980s, Stella comments on various pieces. Looking back at a painting from the 1960s, he jokes that “it may never be that easy again.” 21 minutes. Free with membership or admission.
Members’ Exhibition Preview Celebration:
Mark Rothko: The Decisive Decade 1940-1950
Thursday, September 13 | 6:00 p.m.
Members see it first! Tour the exhibition and attend a lecture by Harry Cooper, Rothko scholar and curator of modern and contemporary art at the National Gallery of Art at 5:30 p.m. or 7:00 p.m. Individual membership admits one; all other membership levels admit two. To become a member, visit columbiamuseum.org or call 803.343.2198.
Lecture: Mark Rothko: The Decisive Decade 1940-1950
Friday, September 14 | Noon
CMA chief curator, Will South, presents an illustrated lecture on the exhibition, Mark Rothko: The Decisive Decade 1940-1950 and offers insight into the artist and his work. Free with membership or admission.
Wee Wednesday: Rolling with Rothko!
Wednesday, October 3 | 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Our youngest of artists, ages 2-5, enjoy a story on color and line while sitting in front of one of Mark Rothko’s magnificent color fields. In the studio, children create a Rothko inspired painting using colored paper, paint and marbles. Participants and their adult companions explore art through the introduction of elementary art terms such as color, line, shape and texture during the Wee Wednesday series. This program, generously presented by SCE&G, includes story time and a creative studio activity related to the art exploration theme. One adult and one child for the remaining fall season: $36 / $184 for Kids Plus! members and above. Each additional child is $12.
Broadway Play: Red
Wednesday, October 10 – Saturday, October 13 | 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, October 14 | 3:00 p.m.
In partnership with Trustus Theatre, CMA presents the one-act, 90-minute play, Red, based on Mark Rothko, that opened on Broadway in 2009. The two-man production, set in Mark Rothko’s New York studio in 1958-1959, follows him as he paints a group of murals for the exclusive Four Seasons restaurant. By hosting the performance in the Museum’s expansion space, set designer Christian Thee makes guests feel as though they are actually visiting Rothko’s studio. Following each performance, enjoy a conversation with USC art department chair Brad Collins, CMA chief curator Will South, set designer Christian Thee, director Larry Hembree and the two actors. $30 / $20 for Trustus Theatre and Museum members. To purchase tickets, call 803.254.9732. Visit the exhibition and enjoy cocktails one hour prior to show time. Generously sponsored by The Schneider Company.
Arts & Draughts
Friday, November 2 | 7:00 – 11:00 p.m.
CMA’s high-octane seasonal art parties are the talk of the town! Enjoy beer tastings from The Whig, decorate your own Mark Rothko cookies, participate in interactive art, take Rothko themed scavenger hunts or unique perspective tours of the exhibition and enjoy musical performances. The CMA is changing the way young audiences perceive Museums, and the party-like atmosphere of this event engages guests with the art and with the Museum, many for the first time. Sponsored by The Whig, WXRY and Free Times. $8 / $5 members.
One Room School House: Figure, Line, Color
Friday, November 9 | 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. or 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
Home school students explore Mark Rothko with a guided tour of the exhibition and further investigate his early years by focusing on complementary colors, line quality and his use of the figure in their own works. This program is designed especially for home-school children (ages 4 and up) and their parents. One adult and one child is $24 or $12 for Kids Plus! members for the remaining fall season. Each additional child is $12 (limit 3 children per adult).
Films from MoMA: Josef Albers
Thursday, November 1 | Noon
Saturday, November 10 | 1:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 24 | 1:00 p.m.
Films from MoMA is a new series at CMA providing access to an unparalleled collection of rare films and videos from the Museum of Modern Art’s Department of Film. Josef Albers was a notable painter, printmaker, sculptor, designer, writer and teacher. He worked from 1908 to 1913 as a schoolteacher in Bottrop and from 1913 to 1915 trained as an art teacher at the Königliche Kunstschule in Berlin, where he was exposed to many current art movements and to the work of such Old Masters as Dürer and Holbein. His figurative drawings of the next few years, which he kept hidden and which were discovered only after his death, show that he applied these influences to his consistent concern with the simplest and most effective means of communicating his subject; he drew rabbits, schoolgirls and the local landscape in as dispassionate and impersonal a manner as possible. 30 minutes. Free with membership or admission.
A Conversation and Book Signing with Rothko about Rothko
Friday, November 30 | Noon
Mark Rothko’s son, Christopher, joins exhibition catalogue editor Dr. Brad Collins for a conversation about his father’s work followed by a book signing. Dr. Rothko has lectured extensively on his father’s work at museums around the world, including the National Gallery of Art, Washington; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Getty Museum, Los Angeles; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and The Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. Dr. Rothko organizes and presents exhibitions of his father’s work around the world. He writes and edits numerous pieces on his father’s artwork, prepares many of the Rothko exhibitions and was closely involved with the planning of the Rothko Centennial celebrations in Latvia and Russia in 2003. He is the editor of the recently released book of his father’s philosophical writings, The Artist’s Reality. $25 for members only.
Artist Salon Series
Friday, December 7 | Noon
This series features gallery talks led by working artists about a wide range of subjects, topics and disciplines. This month, local artist Laura Spong, talks about the process and medium of Mark Rothko’s work in the exhibition. Free with membership or admission.
Passport to Art: Blurred Lines
Sunday, December 9 | Noon – 3:00 p.m.
This FREE drop in studio program allows participants to immerse themselves in Mark Rothko’s world by creating a mixed media piece with ink and pastels and enjoying a guided family tour at 1:00 p.m. or a self-guided tour of the Museum. Generously sponsored by SCE&G.
Baker & Baker Art of Music: The Rothko Room: Journey in Silence
Saturday, December 15 | 2:00 p.m.
This special Baker & Baker Art of Music program features music by pianist and composer Haskell Small from Washington, DC. Small, a Steinway artist, performs original compositions, classical and contemporary works. He is the piano department chair of the Washington Conservatory of Music in Bethesda, Maryland. Free with membership or admission.
Winter Workshop: Ready, Set, Rothko!
Thursday, December 20 & Friday, December 21 | 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Young artists learn the basics of paint by studying color theory, mixing their own paint colors and making their own paint glazes. Creative minds explore the concepts of complementary colors, analogous colors and luminosity while creating works of art. $90 / $72 for Kids Plus! members and above.
Artist Salon Series
Friday, January 4 | Noon
This series features gallery talks led by working artists about a wide range of subjects, topics and disciplines. This month, local artist and CMA exhibition designer, Mike Dwyer, talks about the process and medium of Mark Rothko’s work in the exhibition. Free with membership or admission.
Baker & Baker Art of Music: Music for Rothko
Friday, January 4 | 8:00 p.m.
Enjoy the final weekend of the exhibition, Mark Rothko: The Decisive Decade 1940-1950 with contemporary experimental music selections by Los Angeles composer Michael Pisaro and USC music professor Greg Stuart. $10 / $8 for members.
The Columbia Museum of Art is South Carolina’s premier international art museum and houses a world-class collection of European and American art. Founded in 1950, the Museum opened its new building on Main Street in 1998 with 25 galleries. The collection includes masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance, Baroque and Rococo from the Samuel H. Kress Collection, porcelain and works by significant furniture and silver makers, as well as American, Asian, and modern and contemporary art. In recent years the Museum’s collection of Asian art and Antiquities has grown through generous gifts to the collection. Of particular interest are Sandro Botticelli’s Nativity, Claude Monet’s The Seine at Giverny, Canaletto’s View of the Molo, and art glass by Louis Comfort Tiffany. The Contemporaries, an affiliate membership group, recently completed an Art Acquisition Fund project with the installation of the Dale Chihuly chandelier, which is now on view in the Museum’s David Wallace Robinson, Jr. Atrium. The Museum offers changing exhibitions from renowned museums as well as educational programs for all ages that include art classes, art camps, lectures, films and concerts. It is the recipient of a National Art Education Association award for its contributions to arts education and an Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts for outstanding contributions to the arts in South Carolina. Generous support to the Museum is provided by the City of Columbia, Richland County, the South Carolina Arts Commission and the Cultural Council of Richland and Lexington Counties.
NAI AVANT’S DAVID INGLE REPRESENTS SELLER IN MULTI-FAMILY COMMUNITY SALE, MONCKS CORNER, SC
Charleston, SC (August 13, 2012) David Ingle, Senior Broker with NAI Avant’s Charleston Brokerage Team, recently represented the seller in a $1,050,000 multi-family community sale. This 29 unit multi-family community is located on Gulledge Street in Moncks Corner, South Carolina. DC Realty Advisors of Delaware purchased the property.
NAI AVANT REPRESENTS BUYER IN FLEX BUILDING PURCHASE, LEXINGTON, SC
COLUMBIA, SC (August 14, 2012) Roger Winn and Jeff Hein, SIOR, both members of NAI Avant’s Office Brokerage Team, recently represented the purchaser, Lone Wolf Communications, LLC in a 7,500 square foot flex building transaction. The property is located at 133 Vera Road in Lexington. The transaction was valued at $462,500.
About NAI Avant
NAI Avant’s commercial real estate business is one of the largest in the Southeast. With over 65 professionals, the firm provides comprehensive brokerage, leasing, development, property and project management services. For nearly three consecutive decades, the group has had more of its brokerage professionals recognized as top producers or recipients of the top awards than any other firm in South Carolina. As a member of the NAI Global Network, NAI Avant is affiliated with over 350 offices and 5,000 professionals in 55 countries across the globe. NAI Global is the largest independent commercial real estate service provider worldwide and a wholly owned subsidiary of C-III Capital Partners. NAI Avant’s Property and Project Management Group currently manages a multi-million square foot portfolio of properties across South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. Through its Avant Healthcare Division, the firm provides comprehensive services to hospitals, clinics, and physician groups. NAI Avant, founded in 1966, is headquartered in Columbia, SC with an office in Charleston, SC. Find out more about NAI Avant and its services at www.naiavant.com. Be sure to follow us on Twitter @NAI Avant and like us on Facebook.
Contact: Bruce Harper, President and Broker-In-Charge, Columbia Office, 803-744-9805, or email@example.com