Rothko: The Color Field Paintings comes as close as one can to providing a quiet place to regularly meditate with Mark Rothko’s work. Unlike many art books, Christopher Rothko, Mark Rothko’s son, has wisely chosen to let the art speak for itself without volumes and volumes of text. The two introductory essays, one by Christopher Rothko and the other by Janet Bishop curator of painting and sculpture at SF MoMA, provide helpful background without overshadowing the work itself.
While viewing Rothko’s artwork on a computer screen may make it possible see artwork one couldn’t see otherwise, the projected light of a screen can defeat the more subtle affects of his artwork accomplished only through reflected light. The paper of the book has a slight sheen to it and if held at the right angle the glare disappears and the art work feels supple and luscious. It is clear that the tremendous care and thought went into producing this book.
Priced affordably, this book isn’t intended to make a fortune, instead it’s intended to promote the art work itself. And it succeeds, generously.