Through a long conversation, Ken and Rothko discuss life and art. He evolved from painting portraits, to surrealism, to mythological themes, to German Expressionism to abstract expressionism.
Share via Email Kate Rothko Prizel is a strong-looking woman with a disarming smile that she switches on and off like a flashlight.
You sit opposite her, trying not to be distracted by the subliminal hum of the canvases on the walls - three early Rothkos to the right of me, and one to the left - and you wonder: How did she survive? Not that she even seems to know herself.
I can't make up my mind whether she is warning me off, or welcoming me in. Kate Rothko turned 19 almost four decades ago, in ; in some ways, the events we are about to discuss must feel as though they happened to another person, the facts both gilded and blurred by the weight of years.
Then again, they are so starkly awful, it feels almost murderous to bring them up. What defences might I end up knocking down? It's hardly surprising that when she was younger and at medical school, Rothko would find herself categorically denying her relationship to that Rothko, or that later, when she married, she cloaked herself in her married name, Prizel, the better to be invisible.
Inon the cold morning of 25 February, the body of her father, the painter, Mark Rothkowas found in his cavernous Manhattan studio. He had overdosed on barbiturates, and cut an artery in his right arm with a razor blade.
He was found in a pool of blood six by eight feet wide, wearing long johns and thick black socks. He left no note. Six months later, on 26 August, Kate suffered another bereavement, less public, but just as bitter: The cause of death listed on her death certificate was 'hypertension due to cardiovascular disease'; however, like her estranged husband, she was a heavy drinker.
Kate and Christopher, who was then just six years old, were now orphans or The Orphans, as the art critic Robert Hughes referred to them some years later. But however terrible their grief, it seemed as if they would surely survive.
It wasn't only that they would be OK financially; byRothko's work was already achieving tremendous prices. It was more that Kate had always thought that 'the New York art world was the most idyllic place in which any child could grow up'; though their Rothko relatives were mostly out west and, to a degree, an unknown quantity, her father had been, in spite of his final catastrophic depression, a gregarious man, and a revered one.
The family was nothing if not blessed with a multitude of friends. It was the difference between the two funerals of her parents that revealed to Kate, even in the depths of her grief, that this might not, after all, be so.
Perhaps the art world was not the bohemian extended family of her imagination. The two services took place in the same Manhattan funeral parlour, but they could not have been more different. After Mark's funeral, one art world viper is reputed to have remarked that it was 'the best vernissage of the season', and it is certainly true that it was well attended by the great and the good.
She'd known these people for 25 years, and now it was like she was It was disillusioning for me to see the superficiality of the art world, and that has never gone away, I must admit. It will never be that idyllic place for me again. Within two years, Kate and her brother were fighting a legal battle of Bleak House proportions that few thought they could win - and her parents' 'friends', by now, were even thinner on the ground.
People were hesitant to talk to me. Only a few were willing to stick their necks out. Lee Krasner, for one, gave multiple interviews in which she said how unwise I was to be fighting the case. It was to be seven long years before she had a Rothko of her own; if she wanted to see work by her father, her only option was to visit a gallery.
How did she keep going? I only know that I was convinced from a moral standpoint, and that I had a conviction that this was what I had to do, because I knew how upset my father would have been by what was going on. The executors were thrown out for 'improvidence and waste verging on gross negligence'.
Reis and Stamos, long-time friends of Mark Rothko, were found to have been in conflict of interest; as executors, they could not negotiate with the Marlborough because the company had both of them on its payroll.
Lee Krasner, swiftly eating her words, removed the estate of her husband, Jackson Pollock, from Marlborough's grasp, and others followed though Marlborough Fine Art survives, even today.
It was, Kate concedes, a magnificent victory - though Reis and Lloyd were, in spite of her best efforts, never punished in a criminal court for their actions. One had to make do with the satisfaction of seeing the paintings come back. The judge sat down with me several times [during the litigation] and asked me if I would make a settlement for money.
But I always said no, because it wasn't about money. Kate simply wanted to make sure that her father's wishes became a reality.The Painter Mark Rothko - His Art and Struggle With Mental Illness.
Rothko and his wife Mell separated on New Year’s Day , and he moved into his studio. On February 25, , Oliver Steindecker, Rothko’s assistant, found the artist in his kitchen, lying dead on the floor in front of the sink, covered in blood. He had sliced his arms with a razor found lying at his side.
Famous Writers And Artists And Mental Illness.
By Alicia Sparks, Mental Health Notes | June 14, Share. Pin. or professionals have talked about the possibility of mental illness after their deaths. Art Buchwald, Mark Rothko, Latvian-born Jewish.
Van Gogh and Mental Illness As he was painting some of the most celebrated and influential art of all time, Vincent Van Gogh (March 30, –July 29, The title comes from a specific letter written during one of the painter’s periods of . A prominent figure among the New York School painters, Mark Rothko moved through many artistic styles until reaching his signature s motif of soft, rectangular forms floating on a stained field of color.
Heavily influenced by mythology and philosophy, he was insistent that his art was filled with content, and brimming with timberdesignmag.comality: American. Mark Rothko at Find a Grave; ArtCyclopedia contains links to galleries and museums with Rothko pieces and articles on Rothko.
Guardian slideshow including pictures of works and photograph of Rothko; Mark Rothko, The Art Story; BBC's Power of Art The documentary series Simon Schama's Power of Art featured Mark Rothko.