Analysis Of Four Darks In Red By Mark Rothko

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‘The notion of the sublime did not, however, explicitly engage Rothko states Anna Chave in her book Mark Rothko; subjects in abstraction (Chave, 1989, p. 17). Rothko distrusted high-flown approaches to his paintings and preferred to talk about his art work in his own terms of the emotions. Rothko was interested in the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche, specifically the Birth of tragedy. Mark Rothko cites Nietzsche to provide a way to describe his own sense of modern tragedy as he felt that his work related more to evoking a conjunction of pain and pleasure, which was a task that Rothko took most seriously. At the same time, the conjunction of pain and pleasure could be linked to the sublime and the alternation between the fear of the overwhelming and the pleasure it brings. Which can be seen in his later works such as Four Darks in Red (1958), its dark limited colour palette represented his gravitation towards reds and browns. The rectangles according to Rothko, were believed to be a new way of representing the presence of spirits. In his art work, Rothko was concerned with ‘expressing basic human emotions, tragedy, ecstasy, doom and so on’ stated Chave in Mark Rothko; subjects in abstraction (Chave, 1989, p.18). By doing this, Rothko managed to allow the viewer to experience the paintings emotionally and physically as through his painting techniques he managed to evoke the emotions associated with the ‘human drama’ and tragedy’s that people encounter in their day to day

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