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Rothko the writer

If any painter aimed to transcend words, it was Mark Rothko, whose luminous fields of color revolutionized American art. All the more surprising, then, that his newly published writings tell us so much.

''I realize that historically the function of painting large pictures is something very grandiose and pompous,'' Rothko wrote in 1951. ''The reason I paint them however. . . is precisely because I want to be intimate and human.''
''I realize that historically the function of painting large pictures is something very grandiose and pompous,'' Rothko wrote in 1951. ''The reason I paint them however. . . is precisely because I want to be intimate and human.'' (All artwork: Christie's) All artwork: Christie's
By Dushko Petrovich
June 18, 2006

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IN 1978, THE PAINTER Philip Guston warned that if artists did not speak in public, they ran the risk of being reduced to ``painting monkeys." If, on the other hand, they did speak, their words were generally not to be trusted. The only truth, according to Guston, was in their candid remarks. (Full article: 1568 words)

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