Breslin Mark Rothko: A Biography

ISBN 13: 9780226074054

Mark Rothko: A Biography

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9780226074054: Mark Rothko: A Biography
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A full-length biography of one of the greatest artists of the 20th century, a man considered as fascinating, difficult and compelling as the paintings he produced. Drawing on Mark Rothko's personal papers and hundreds of interviews with artists, patrons, and dealers, James Breslin tells the story of a life in art - the personal costs and professional triumphs, the convergence of genius and ego, culture and commerce, that defined the New York art scene of the 1930s, 40s, and 50s - the world of Abstract Expressionism, of Pollock, Rothko, de Kooning, Klein. Born in 1903, Marcus Rothkowitz fled the poverty and anti-Semitism of his native Russia at the age of ten, settling in Portland, Oregon. His father died soon after. After a brief stint at Yale, Rothko moved to New York City and began to study painting. Enduring the poverty, and obscurity of countless struggling artists of the time, Rothko soon added his enormous talents to a movement, a revolution, that would redefine the very meaning of art. Breslin captures this moment in brilliant detail with valuable, rare accounts of Rothko's close friendships with such artists as Milton Avery, Adolph Gottlieb, Barnett Newman, and Clyfford Still. Rothko's l 961 one-man exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art established his preeminence among living American artists. Breslin chronicles his development, both personally and professionally, leading up to this period, including Rothko's complicated relations with fellow artists, critics, and influential dealers such as Peggy Guggenheim, Betty Parsons, Sidney Janis, and Frank Lloyd. He also explores the commissions - for a Harvard dining room, Philip Johnson's Four Seasons restaurant, and the Chapelin Houston - that brought the defiant abstract artist squarely into the mainstream. Separation from his second wife, drinking problems, failing health, and a constant struggle with the art market all contributed to Rothko's suicide in 1970. To many, he remains a symbol of the rebellions, self-destructive genius that defined American art at mid-century. In "Mark Rothko: A Biography", however, Breslin moves beyond the symbol to reveal the complexities and contradictions of the man, his art, and his time.

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Review:



"Historically, ["Mark Rothko"] is a rich work that beautifully sets out the New York art scene of the '30s, '40s, and '50s, giving a palpable sense of this complex, conflicted artistic genius and monumental ego, his colleagues and his period./i>
--Ed Gero "Chicago Reader "
"Mr. Breslin's book is, in my opinion, the best life of an American painter that has yet been written. . . . A biographical classic. It is painstakingly researched, fluently written and unfailingly intelligent in tracing the tragic course of its subject's tormented character."--Hilton Kramer, "New York Times Book Review"
--Hilton Kramer "New York Times "
"Mr. Breslin's book is, in my opinion, the best life of an American painter that has yet been written. . . . A biographical classic. It is painstakingly researched, fluently written and unfailingly intelligent in tracing the tragic course of its subject's tormented character."--Hilton Kramer, "New York Times Book Review"
--Hilton Kramer "New York Times "
"Historically, ["Mark Rothko"] is a rich work that beautifully sets out the New York art scene of the '30s, '40s, and '50s, giving a palpable sense of this complex, conflicted artistic genius and monumental ego, his colleagues and his period./i>
--Ed Gero "Chicago Reader "
"Mr. Breslin's book is, in my opinion, the best life of an American painter that has yet been written. . . . A biographical classic. It is painstakingly researched, fluently written and unfailingly intelligent in tracing the tragic course of its subject's tormented character."--Hilton Kramer, "New York Times Book Review"

--Hilton Kramer "New York Times "

"Historically, ["Mark Rothko"] is a rich work that beautifully sets out the New York art scene of the '30s, '40s, and '50s, giving a palpable sense of this complex, conflicted artistic genius and monumental ego, his colleagues and his period."--Ed Gero, "Chicago Reader"



--Ed Gero "Chicago Reader "

Mr. Breslin s book is, in my opinion, the best life of an American painter that has yet been written. . . . A biographical classic. It is painstakingly researched, fluently written and unfailingly intelligent in tracing the tragic course of its subject s tormented character. Hilton Kramer, "New York Times Book Review"

--Hilton Kramer "New York Times ""

Historically, ["Mark Rothko"] is a rich work that beautifully sets out the New York art scene of the 30s, 40s, and 50s, giving a palpable sense of this complex, conflicted artistic genius and monumental ego, his colleagues and his period. Ed Gero, "Chicago Reader"

--Ed Gero "Chicago Reader ""

"Mr. Breslin's book is, in my opinion, the best life of an American painter that has yet been written. . . . A biographical classic. It is painstakingly researched, fluently written and unfailingly intelligent in tracing the tragic course of its subject's tormented character."--Hilton Kramer, New York Times Book Review


--Hilton Kramer "New York Times "

"Historically, [Mark Rothko] is a rich work that beautifully sets out the New York art scene of the '30s, '40s, and '50s, giving a palpable sense of this complex, conflicted artistic genius and monumental ego, his colleagues and his period."--Ed Gero, Chicago Reader


--Ed Gero "Chicago Reader "

About the Author:

James E. B. Breslin (1936-96) was professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of From Modern to Contemporary: American Poetry, 1945-1965 and William Carlos Williams: An American Artist.

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9780226074061: Mark Rothko: A Biography

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ISBN 10:  0226074064 ISBN 13:  9780226074061
Publisher: University of Chicago Press, 1998
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