It was with colour and sentimentalism that Mark Rothko first introduced himself to the creative landscape just shy of a centennial ago at the Portland Art Museum, Oregon. Come October 18th 2023, this illustrious past is set to be navigated by the Foundation Louis Vuitton, Paris through a contemplative retrospective, with the individual, some 115 projects it’s anticipated to hold, whether minor or significant, serving as as metaphorical footprints in the sand. 
Similar to any expedition, this journey commences at the beginning, or more precisely 1930—a decade which is going to be brought to life through the deep-seated scenes and municipal interpretations which permeated the American originator’s work. Before his movement towards the creation of more chimerical pieces, along with surrealism-grounded projects which he turned to as pensive gestures of the human condition throughout the war. The aftermath, more or less, was a period of rejuvenation for Rothko, thanks to must-see pieces, such as Multi Forms which were born from a transference towards abstract expressionism. Something which he built upon and reinterpreted to craft the classic works which were made distinctive by overlapping silhouettes, and irrepressible colours and saw him throughout the 1950s.
From there, Rothko was enlisted to produce a collection of wall paintings, with these set to be displayed inside the Four Seasons restaurant, upon their completion. However, in a twist of fate, he instead opted to keep the entire series, before presenting nine of them to London’s Tate Gallery in 1969. For this showcase, they are anticipated to be made deliberately individual. Whilst 1960 a decade which saw the Phillips Collection consign a permanent room to the artist before he became the focus of a retrospective hosted by the Museum of Modern Art in New York, will also hold an allegorical place of honour. Particularly as it was a period which bore witness to numerous other projects, the most celebrated of which is the chapel John and Dominique de Menil in Houston.
Rothko’s vivacity both on and beyond the canvas, endured through the numerous paintings he undertook from 1967 onwards, with a red one poignantly left unwished in his studio, although these reflections of jubilation were oftentimes interrupted by more sombre projects such as the not to be missed Black and Grey series. Which will be displayed, amongst others, inside the largest room in the Frank Gehry building in conjunction with Alberto Giacometti’s domineering sculptural figures so that the space can reflect the vision Rothko held for a UNESCO commission which remained a product of his inimitable imagination. Mark Rothko at Foundation Louis Vuitton promises to be an invigorating journey through the decades of the great artist’s work.
Mark Rothko Black on Maroon.jpg
Mark Rothko, Black On Maroon, 1958 Huile sur toile 266,7 × 365,7 cm Tate, Londres Presented by the artist through American Foundation of Arts, 1969 © 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko - Adagp, Paris, 2023
Mark Rothko Slow Swirl at the Edge of the Sea 1944.jpg
Mark Rothko, Slow Swirl at the Edge of the Sea, 1944 Huile sur toile 191,1 × 215,9 cm Museum of Modern Art, New York Bequest of Mrs. Mark Rothko through The Mark Rothko Foundation, Inc. © 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko - Adagp, Paris, 2023
Mark Rothko Light Cloud Dark Cloud 1957.jpg
Mark Rothko, Light Cloud, Dark Cloud, 1957 Huile sur toile 169.6 × 158,8 cm Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth Museum purchase, The Benjamin J. Tillar Memorial Trust © 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko - Adagp, Paris, 2023