Thursday, 18 August 2011

Rothko in Britain

In 1961 the Whitechapel Gallery held the first solo show of American artist Mark Rothko in Britain. The 1961 exhibition introduced Rothko to Britain for the first time and included paintings from 1945-60. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of this influential exhibition the Whitechapel Gallery will be hosting a new show of the Abstract Expressionist's work. The exhibition will be brought to life through the Gallery's archives of original photographs, letters from the artist and new recordings of visitors memories presented alongside Rothko's painting 'Light Red Over Black' (1957). One rare letter describes Rothko's warm feeling for England, saying: "I feel so in tune with people like Shakespeare and Dickens I often think that they must really have been Russian Jews who emigrated to New York."

The new display will shed light on Rothko's connection with Britain, highlighting the relationships he formed during his trip to Cornwall in the Summer of 1959. The exhibition opens on the 9th of September (I'll remind you all nearer the time to go!) and it's free.

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