45 Mark Rothko Quotes On Success In Life

Mark Rothko was an American abstract painter of Latvian Jewish descent. He is best known for his color field paintings that depicted irregular and painterly rectangular regions of color, which he produced from 1949 to 1970. These Mark Rothko quotes will motivate you.

Best Mark Rothko Quotes

  1. “The most interesting painting is one that expresses more of what one thinks than of what one sees” ~ Mark Rothko
  2. “A painting is not a picture of an experience, but is the experience.” ~ Mark Rothko
  3. “To me art is an adventure into an unknown world, which can be explored only by those willing to take the risk.” ~ Mark Rothko
  4. “There is only one thing I fear in life, my friend: One day, the black will swallow the red.” ~ Mark Rothko
  5. “I’m not an abstractionist. I’m not interested in the relationship of color or form or anything else. I’m interested only in expressing basic human emotions: tragedy, ecstasy, doom, and so on.” ~ Mark Rothko
  6. “There is more power in telling little than in telling all.” ~ Mark Rothko

  7. “The fact that people break down and cry when confronted with my pictures shows that I can communicate those basic human emotions.. the people who weep before my pictures are having the same religious experience I had when painting them. And if you say you are moved only by their color relationships then you miss the point.” ~ Mark Rothko
  8. “You think my paintings are calm, like windows in some cathedral? You should look again. I’m the most violent of all the American painters. Behind those colors there hides the final cataclysm.” ~ Mark Rothko
  9. “I am here to make you think. . . . I am not here to make pretty pictures!” ~ Mark Rothko
  10. “Art to me is an anecdote of the spirit.” ~ Mark Rothko

  11. “When I was a younger man, art was a lonely thing. No galleries, no collectors, no critics, no money. Yet, it was a golden age, for we all had nothing to lose and a vision to gain. Today it is not quite the same. It is a time of tons of verbiage, activity, consumption. Which condition is better for the world at large I shall not venture to discuss. But I do know, that many of those who are driven to this life are desperately searching for those pockets of silence where we can root and grow. We must all hope we find them.” ~ Mark Rothko
  12. “If you are only moved by color relationships, you are missing the point. I am interested in expressing the big emotions – tragedy, ecstasy, doom.” ~ Mark Rothko
  13. “The artist invites the spectator to take a journey within the realm of the canvas… Without taking the journey, the spectator has really missed the essential experience of the picture.” ~ Mark Rothko
  14. “Silence is so accurate.” ~ Mark Rothko
  15. “My art is not abstract, it lives and breathes” ~ Mark Rothko

  16. “The reason for my painting large canvases is that I want to be intimate and human. To paint a small picture is to place yourself outside your experience, to look upon an experience as a stereopticon view or with a reducing glass. However you paint the larger picture, you are in it. It isn’t something you command.” ~ Mark Rothko
  17. “The people that weep before my paintings are having the same religious experience that I had when I painted it.” ~ Mark Rothko
  18. “I don’t express myself in my paintings. I express my not-self.” ~ Mark Rothko
  19. “There is no such thing as good painting about nothing.” ~ Mark Rothko

  20. “It is the poet and philosopher who provide the community of objectives in which the artist participates. Their chief preoccupation, like the artist, is the expression in the concrete form of their notions of reality. Like him, they deal with the verities of time and space, life and death, and the heights of exaltation as well as the depths of despair. The preoccupation with these eternal problems creates a common ground which transcends the disparity in the means used to achieve them.” ~ Mark Rothko
  21. “A picture lives by companionship, expanding and quickening in the eyes of the sensitive observer. It dies by the same token. It is therefore risky to send it out into the world. How often it must be impaired by the eyes of the unfeeling and the cruelty of the impotent.” ~ Mark Rothko
  22. “The progression of a painter’s work…will be toward clarity; toward the elimination of all obstacles between the painter and the idea, and between the idea and the observer…to achieve this clarity is, inevitably, to be understood.” ~ Mark Rothko
  23. “I use colors that have already been experienced through the light of day and through the state of mind of the total man. In other words, my colors are not colors that are laboratory tools which are isolated from all accidentals or impurities so that they have a specified identity or purity.” ~ Mark Rothko
  24. “Many of those who are driven to this life are desperately searching for those pockets of silence where we can root and grow.” ~ Mark Rothko

  25. “The myth holds us, therefore, not through its romantic flavor, not the remembrance of beauty of some bygone age, not through the possibilities of fantasy, but because it expresses to us something real and existing in ourselves, as it was to those who first stumbled upon the symbols to give them life.” ~ Mark Rothko
  26. “This world of the imagination is fancy-free and violently opposed to common sense.” ~ Mark Rothko
  27. “(I am) dealing not with the particular anecdote, but rather with the Spirit of Myth, which is generic to all myths at all times.” ~ Mark Rothko quotes
  28. “The romantics were prompted to seek exotic subjects and to travel to far-off places. They failed to realize that, though the transcendental must involve the strange and unfamiliar, not everything strange or unfamiliar is transcendental.” ~ Mark Rothko
  29. “I also hang the pictures low rather than high, and particularly in the case of the largest ones, often as close to the floor as is feasible, for that is the way they are painted.” ~ Mark Rothko
  30. “The abstract artist has given material existence to many unseen worlds and tempi.” ~ Mark Rothko

  31. “If our titles recall the known myths of antiquity, we have used them again because they are the eternal symbols upon which we must fall back to express basic psychological ideas.. …(they) express something real and existing in ourselves.” ~ Mark Rothko
  32. “Pictures must be miraculous: the instant one is completed, the intimacy between the creation and the creator is ended.” ~ Mark Rothko
  33. “While the authority of the doctor or plumber is never questioned, everyone deems himself a good judge and an adequate arbiter of what a work of art should be and how it should be done.” ~ Mark Rothko
  34. “The picture must be… a revelation, an unexpected and unprecedented resolution of an eternally familiar need.” ~ Mark Rothko

  35. “Look, it’s my misery that I have to paint this kind of painting, it’s your misery that you have to love it, and the price of the misery is thirteen hundred and fifty dollars.” ~ Mark Rothko
  36. “I do not believe that there was ever a question of being abstract or representational. It is really a matter of ending this silence and solitude, of breathing, and stretching one’s arms again transcendental experiences become possible.” ~ Mark Rothko
  37. “We are concerned with similar states of consciousness and relationship to the world…If previous abstractions paralleled the scientific and objective preoccupations of our times, ours are finding a pictorial equivalent for man’s new knowledge and consciousness of his more complex inner self.” ~ Mark Rothko
  38. “I will say without reservations that from my point of view there can be no abstractions. Any shape or area that has not the pulsating concreteness of real flesh and bones, its vulnerability to pleasure or pain is nothing at all. Any picture that does not provide the environment in which the breath of life can be drawn does not interest me.” ~ Mark Rothko
  39. “It is really a matter of ending this silence and solitude, of breathing and stretching one’s arms again.” ~ Mark Rothko

  40. “With us, the disguise must be complete. The familiar identity of things has to be pulverized in order to destroy the finite associations with which our society increasingly enshrouds every aspect of our environment.” ~ Mark Rothko
  41. “We favor the simple expression of the complex thought. We are for the large shape because it has the impact of the unequivocal. We wish to reassert the picture plane. We are for flat forms because they destroy illusion and reveal truth.” ~ Mark Rothko
  42. “A picture lives by companionship, expanding and quickening in the eyes of the sensitive observer” ~ Mark Rothko
  43. “I’m interested only in expressing basic human emotions. And the fact that a lot of people break down and cry when confronted with my pictures shows that I can communicate these basic human emotions.” ~ Mark Rothko
  44. “It is a widely accepted notion among painters that it does not matter what one paints as long as it is well painted. This is the essence of academicism.” ~ Mark Rothko
  45. “Without monsters and gods, art cannot enact a drama.” ~ Mark Rothko

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