The first major exhibition dedicated to the late works of Mark Rothko (1903-1970), one of America’s most important and iconic post-war painters, will open at Tate Modern this September. Focusing on the final part of his career between 1958 and 1970, the exhibition will comprise around 50 works, including paintings and works on paper. On view 26 September 2008 through 1 February 2009.
Bringing together an exceptional group of 15 Seagram murals, the exhibition will offer an unprecedented opportunity to experience this seminal body of work. For the first time in their history the nine Tate Seagram murals (known as the ‘Rothko room’) will be joined by a selection of related Seagram paintings from the collections of the Kawamura Memorial Museum of Art, Japan, and the National Gallery of Art, Washington. It will be the first time the Kawamura Memorial Museum of Art will have lent their works to an international exhibition since they joined its collection in the late 1980s.
The Seagram murals will be shown alongside other landmark series of Rothko’s paintings, including five Black-Form paintings (1964), a group of large-scale Brown on Gray works on paper (1969), and examples from his last series Black on Gray, made in 1969–70.
Commissioned in 1958 the Seagram murals were intended to adorn the exclusive Four Seasons restaurant in Manhattan’s newly built Seagram building, designed by Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson. Rothko constructed a scaffold in his studio to create a replica space of the restaurant to work in. Though the original commission was meant to encompass only seven paintings, Rothko eventually painted 30 canvases.
The bright and intense colours of his earlier paintings made way to maroon, dark red and black, and Rothko soon realised that the brooding character of his latest creations required a very different environment to the one they had been commissioned for. Rothko saw the Seagram paintings as objects of contemplation, demanding the viewer’s complete absorption. He made reference to Michelangelo’s works in the Laurentian Library in Florence, with its deliberately oppressive atmosphere, commenting that Michelangelo ‘achieved just the kind of feeling I’m after – he makes the viewers feel that they are trapped in a room where all the doors and windows are bricked up’. He took the decision to withdraw from the restaurant commission.
Shortly before his death in 1970, Rothko presented nine Seagram paintings to the Tate Gallery, citing his deep affection for the Collection, especially for JMW Turner. Displayed in keeping with the artist’s wishes as one coherent environment, the subtlety of the layered surfaces slowly emerges, revealing their solemn and meditative character.
Rothko is curated by Achim Borchardt-Hume, Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art, Tate Modern. The exhibition is organised by Tate Modern in association with Kawamura Memorial Museum of Art and will travel to Japan in spring 2009. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue which includes essays from leading international critics.
Tate Modern is the national gallery of international modern art. Located in London, it is one of the family of four Tate galleries which display selections from the Tate Collection. The Collection comprises the national collection of British art from the year 1500 to the present day, and of international modern art. The other three galleries are Tate Britain, also in London, Tate Liverpool, in the north-west, and Tate St Ives, in Cornwall, in the south-west. The entire Tate Collection is available online.
Tate Modern in London will be hosting a 6-film series on the weekend of August 16th and 17th as part of its ongoing Street Art exhibition. There will be 3 films showing on Saturday the 16th, which are: Inside Outside, Next: A Primer on Urban Painting, and Bomb It, and then the other 3 on Sunday the 17th, which are: Writers, Rash, and Kroonjuwelen. All the showings are free, so if you are in the area, be sure to stop by.
Currently on exhibition at the Tate Modern is the ‘H Box’, created by French Luxury fashion house Hermes together with Portugese Artist/ Architect Didier Fiuza Faustino. The ‘H Box’ is a mobile screening room that showcases the work of 8 video artists (Alice Anderson, Yael Bartana, Sebastián Díaz-Morales, Dora García, Judit Kúrtag, Valérie Mréjen, Shahryar Nashat, and Su-Mei Tse.)
Designed to hold up to 10 people at a time, the ‘H Box’ consists of two entirely collapsible modules constructed of aluminum and Perspex, it can be assembled, disassembled and transported as required, and functions as a portable video gallery to travel around the world, while also seen as a piece of art on its own.
Each year, as H BOX tours between museums internationally, four new artists will join the programme as four others give up their place. The ‘H Box’ will be exhibited at Tate Modern in London until August 17th before heading to Yokohama Triennale in Japan. Check out this amazing piece of technology (And the art it shows) if you’re in the area, or take a look at the images below, Visit the official site here for more info.
Tate Modern presents a major exhibition of works by Cy Twombly, one of the most highly regarded painters working today and a foremost figure among the generation of American artists that includes Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol. Twombly rose to prominence through a distinctive style characterised by scribbles and vibrantly daubed paint. This is his first solo retrospective in fifteen years, and provides an overview of his work from the 1950s to now. On View 19 June through 14 September, 2008.
An art installation, made by Colombian artist Doris Salcedo, is being filled in due to many injuries. This happens just six months after it was installed along the length of Turbine Hall at Tate Modern. Tate Modern unveiled the latest commission in The Unilever Series six months ago. Shibboleth, by Doris Salcedo, was the first work to intervene with the fabric of the building. Dramatically breaking open the floor of the Turbine Hall, Salcedo had created a striking yet intricate subterranean sculpture that ran the length of the building. The work raised questions about the historic and current divisions that exist in society.
Tate Modern presents Duchamp, Man Ray, Picabia, on view through May 26, 2008. This exhibition aims to chart the artistic and personal relationships of three of the great figures in early twentieth-century art, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray and Francis Picabia. Together they created the Dada movement in New York during the First World War, and, unusually within the history of modern art, they remained friends, with periods of varying intensity, throughout their lives.
“I don’t dream,” Louise Bourgeois once claimed. And although her images, ideas, and objects feel half-submerged in the unconscious, the artist describes her working method as more akin to operating “under a spell” than derived from any somnolent source. The Tate’s retrospective (the first in the UK since 1995), curated by Marie-Laure Bernadac, Frances Morris, and Jonas Storsve, brings together more than two hundred drawings, sculptures, installations, and fabric pieces from Bourgeois’s seven-decade-long career. The accompanying catalogue features the artist’s own multifaceted written work, as well as essays by Rosalind Krauss, Julia Kristeva, Linda Nochlin, and others. All you Bourgeois fans, pinch yourselves: This is no dream.
Through January 20 2008, via: Artforum