To me art is an adventure into an unknown world, which can be explored only by those willing to take the risk.

— Mark Rothko

The most mind-blowing Mark Rothko quotes that will activate your inner potential

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.

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The most interesting painting is one that expresses more of what one thinks than of what one sees

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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.

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Mark Rothko quote A painting is not a picture of an experi

A painting is not a picture of an experience; It is an experience.

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Art to me is an anecdote of the spirit.

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Silence is so accurate.

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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.

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Mark Rothko quote A painting is not a picture of an experi

A painting is not a picture of an experience, but is the experience.

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I am here to make you think. . . . I am not here to make pretty pictures!

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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.

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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.

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Art to me is an anecdote of the spirit, and the only means of making concrete the purpose of its varied quickness and stillness.

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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.

40

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.

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About Mark Rothko

Quotes 52 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Artist
Birthday October 16

If you are moved only by the color relationships, then you miss the point.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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There is no such thing as good painting about nothing.

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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.

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I don't express myself in my paintings. I express my not-self.

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The picture must be... a revelation, an unexpected and unprecedented resolution of an eternally familiar need.

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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.

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Pictures must be miraculous: the instant one is completed, the intimacy between the creation and the creator is ended.

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(I am) dealing not with the particular anecdote, but rather with the Spirit of Myth, which is generic to all myths at all times.

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The reason for my painting large canvases is that I want to be intimate and human.

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A picture lives by companionship, expanding and quickening in the eyes of the sensitive observer

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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.

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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.

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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 pictoral equivalent for man's new knowledge and consciousness of his more complex inner self.

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I'm not an abstractionist... I'm not interested in relationships of colour or form or anything else.

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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 became possible.

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The people that weep before my paintings are having the same religious experience that I had when I painted it.

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We assert that the subject is crucial and only that subject matter is valid which is tragic and timeless.

4

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.

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This world of the imagination is fancy-free and violently opposed to common sense.

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A painting is not a picture of an experience, but is the experience.

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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.

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There is more power in telling little than in telling all.

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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.

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There is only one thing I fear in life, my friend: One day, the black will swallow the red.

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Without monsters and gods, art cannot enact a drama.

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My art is not abstract, it lives and breathes

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Small pictures since the Renaissance are like novels;

large pictures are like dramas in which one participates in a direct way.

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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.

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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 colours there hides the final cataclysm.

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It is really a matter of ending this silence and solitude, of breathing and stretching one's arms again.

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That is why we profess a spiritual kinship with primitive and archaic art.

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If you are only moved by color relationships, you are missing the point.

I am interested in expressing the big emotions - tragedy, ecstasy, doom.

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This would be a distortion of their meaning, since the pictures are intimate and intense, and are the opposite of what is decorative; and have been painted in a scale of normal living rather than an institutional scale.

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The abstract artist has given material existence to many unseen worlds and tempi.

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