Mark Rothko, No. 5/No. 22
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(American, born Latvia. 1903-1970)
No. 5/No. 22
1950 (dated on reverse 1949)
If you spend time looking at this painting, you will see how it transforms your perception of shape and colour with each passing moment. The rectangles appear to hover just over its surface. Each of the work’s coloured segments, when stared at individually, affect how you perceive the colour of those adjacent to it. Despite this, Rothko did not want his pictures appreciated solely for their visual qualities. He said, "If you are only moved by colour relationships, then you miss the point. I'm interested in expressing the big emotions—tragedy, ecstasy, doom."
“I'm interested in expressing the big emotions—tragedy, ecstasy, doom." – Mark Rothko