Mark Rothko, 'Red on Maroon' 1959

Mark Rothko
Red on Maroon 1959
Mixed media on canvas
support: 2667 x 4572 mm
Presented by the artist through the American Federation of Arts 1969© Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko/DACS 1998

In this issue

Research articles

Robert Bird

The rediscovery of the Soviet film director Andrei Tarkovsky (1932–1986) as an artist in the cinema allows us to see his films anew as vital participants in the contemporary art world. Citing references to the filmmaker’s long-take aesthetic in contemporary art, this paper argues that Tarkovsky’s concepts of the imprinted image and of time in cinema are particularly significant today for video artists who investigate media as the material texture of modernity.

Mary Jacobus

Cy Twombly’s remark that ‘lines have a great effect on painting’ resonates not only with his graphic practice but with his relation to poetry. The importance of the modern German poet Rainer Maria Rilke to Twombly includes the figure of the Orphic poet and their shared interest in the ancient River Nile. Twombly’s Egyptian series, Coronation of Sesostris, 2000, represents a late flowering of his remarkable graphic inventiveness.

Jennifer Mundy

This paper discusses a hitherto unpublished drawing by Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968) that relates to his masterwork The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass), 1915–23. This drawing escaped the attention of Duchamp scholars because the artist gave it as a present to an American television producer in 1956. The significance of the note, together with the circumstances of the gift, is discussed here.

Kate Nesin

This paper presents an extended close reading of Cy Twombly’s Untitled (Funerary Box for a Lime Green Python), 1954, particularly as it relates to his later sculptural work and engages the terms fetish object, modernist sculpture, monument and poetics. Twombly’s constructions are found less to defy description and categorisation than to position themselves productively in between such discourses.

Carol A. Nigro

In the United States postmodern scepticism often has relegated Cy Twombly’s engagement with classical and humanist themes to nostalgia, irrelevance or an over-indulgence in European tropes. In the 1940s and 1950s, however, two of the most active polemicists of the period, Robert Motherwell and Charles Olson, the leader of the Black Mountain poets, saw Twombly’s early works as compatible with their own ideologies and artistic strategies. This paper argues that Twombly learned from his mentors and participated in an American revision of humanism that prepared a foundation for his lifelong commitment to humanist discourse.

Rebecca Sinker

This paper reflects on the development of Tate Forum, Tate Britain’s peer-led youth group (established 2002), drawing on interviews with past and present group members as well as those Tate staff and artists who have worked with them. It considers to what extent they are able, not only to participate in the gallery’s programme for young audiences, but also to influence how the institution and the collection are perceived.

Harriet A. L. Standeven

For his 1950s and 1960s Seagram and Harvard murals, American artist Mark Rothko employed lithol red – a highly fugitive pigment that is more commonly associated with the printing industry than artists’ paints. Some of the murals have faded, which has significant consequences for our appreciation of Rothko’s work today. This paper discusses the chemistry, manufacture, availability and end-use of lithol red in order to gain a greater understanding of how Rothko might have viewed the pigment.

Reports and strategies

Andrea Nixon

Advocacy – what is it? – and, indeed, stakeholders: who are they? The answers to these questions will be different for each individual institution, argues Andrea Nixon in a keynote address delivered in 2008.