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The Artist’s Reality: Philosophies of Art

Christopher Rothko, son of the artist and editor of his father's book, The Artist's Reality: Philosophies of Art. “One of the most important artists of the 20th century, Mark Rothko (1903–1970) created a new and impassioned form of abstract painting over the course of his career. Rothko also wrote a number of essays and critical reviews during his lifetime, adding his thoughtful, intelligent, and opinionated voice to the debates of the contemporary art world. Although the artist never published a book of his varied and complex views, his heirs indicate that he occasionally spoke of the existence of such a manuscript to friends and colleagues. Stored in a New York City warehouse since the artist’s death, this extraordinary manuscript,” probably written around 1940–1941, was finally published in 2005. Titled The Artist’s Reality, “this revelatory book discusses Rothko’s ideas on the modern art world, art history, myth, beauty, the challenges of being an artist in society, the true nature of ‘American art,’ and much more.” In this lecture recorded on June 11, 2005, at the National Gallery of Art, Christopher Rothko, the artist’s son, describes “the discovery of the manuscript and the complicated and fascinating process of bringing the manuscript to publication.” (Quotations from Yale University Press) Copyright © 2005 by Christopher Rothko