The darkest colors are not gloomy. They can even be the totality of a painting provided that they are shimmering. To test this very particular style, the artist is encouraged by the dark walls in the Villa of Mysteries at Pompeii.
Rothko wants to share his emotions by immersing the visitor in his art. Most viewers do not have his hypersensitivity or his culture and the dialogues are difficult, especially since the opuses have no title and are not explained. The couple of patrons John and Dominique de Menil manage to integrate this very hermetic teaching.
On November 15 in New York, Christie's sells Untitled (rust and two blacks on plum), oil on canvas painted in 1962, lot 18 C estimated $ 35M.
The layout of the rectangles is classic in the artist's style and the almost square 152 x 145 cm format is common in the phase following the failed Seagram Murals project. Its tones altogether subtle and extreme appeal to the artist who hangs the artwork in his studio. Dominique de Menil is convinced.
In 1964 the de Menils concretized their relationship with the artist by offering to finance a space of meditation in Houston. For this project that will become the Rothko Chapel, Rothko achieves the best of his darker art. The installation inspired by Monet's Grandes Décorations is posthumous.
Dominique included that seminal 1962 piece in a temporary exhibition during the lifetime of the artist but she did not buy it. Maintaining up to now the enthusiasm of the de Menil family, it had been acquired in 1979 by their son François.
SOLD for $ 36M including premium