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Friday 12.16.11

« Martin Kippenberger at Portland Art Museum | Main | Place for the Holidays »

Mark Rothko Retrospective at PAM

Mark Rothko, Untitled, 1957, oil on canvas, (c) 2011 Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko

In 2009 PORT gave you a head's up that it was coming but now the Portland Art Museum has released the dates and some details about its Mark Rothko Retrospective in February 2012.

Spanning Rothko's entire career, the 45 works in the exhibition may constitute the single most important exhibition of the 21st Century for the Portland Art Museum and all eyes will be on this show. It is sure to be a watershed moment and the exhibition will not travel.

For background, Rothko from age 10-18 grew up in Portland and had his first solo exhibition at the Museum in 1933-34. In 2009 Arcy published this very important post on PORT detailing the city's most famous son's relationship to Portland. Also, it illustrated how overdue such a retrospective was. In fact, even today many Portlanders (and some artists) aren't even aware of Rothko's connection to Portland. In short this retrospective simply had to be done and I personally feel the new transit bridge over the Willamette currently under construction should be dedicated to Rothko as well (he often painted the spot). Then there is my ultimate hope, that the Portland Art Museum creates a special Rothko gallery according to the artist's preference for low level natural light, low ceilings and his works alone when they next expand their campus in the next decade. If Denver can have a Clyfford Still Museum I think Portland (a city overrun with artists) should be a venue for seeing Rothkos the way he intended.

PAM's retrospective is made possible through key loans from the Rothko family, the National Gallery and private collections. This exhibition was a lifelong dream for the recently departed Harold Schnitzer and though he didn't get to see it that dream was crucial in making this happen.

Mark Rothko Retrospective • February 17 - May 27th 2012
Portland Art Museum • 1219 SW Park Ave

Posted by Jeff Jahn on December 16, 2011 at 1:28 | Comments (0)


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