In this episode of Expert Voices, Jasper Sharp, curator of the Kunsthistorisches Museum’s current Rothko retrospective, and Sotheby’s Contemporary Art specialist Saara Pritchard examine one of the most important periods of Mark Rothko’s career. Committed to intensively exploring the power of art to elicit strong emotional reactions, the artist abandoned bright colors that characterize his work of the early 1950s in favor of deep reds and burgundies. Untitled, 1960, a highlight of Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction, illuminates this profound shift and represents the artist at the peak of his power. “Seen close up and in a penumbra, as these paintings are meant to be seen, they absorb, they envelop the viewer” wrote Peter Selz, curator of the 1961 MoMA retrospective “for they are mirrors of our fantasy and serve as echoes of our experience.” Sold on behalf of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), this exquisite work will benefit the institution’s Acquisitions Fund. (16 May | New York)
Mark Rothko is on view at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, through 30 June. Sotheby's is proud to be a sponsor of this exhibition.