Mark Rothko

Overview

A book of heroic dimensions, this is the first full-length biography of one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century—a man as fascinating, difficult, and compelling as the paintings he produced. Drawing on exclusive access to Mark Rothko's personal papers and over one hundred interviews with artists, patrons, and dealers, James Breslin tells the story of a life in art—the personal costs and professional triumphs, the convergence of genius and ego, the clash of culture and commerce. Breslin offers us not ...

See more details below
Paperback (1)
$23.48
BN.com price
(Save 32%)$35.00 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (20) from $17.70   
  • New (10) from $22.62   
  • Used (10) from $17.70   
Sending request ...

Overview

A book of heroic dimensions, this is the first full-length biography of one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century—a man as fascinating, difficult, and compelling as the paintings he produced. Drawing on exclusive access to Mark Rothko's personal papers and over one hundred interviews with artists, patrons, and dealers, James Breslin tells the story of a life in art—the personal costs and professional triumphs, the convergence of genius and ego, the clash of culture and commerce. Breslin offers us not only an enticing look at Rothko as a person, but delivers a lush, in-depth portrait of the New York art scene of the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s—the world of Abstract Expressionism, of Pollock, Rothko, de Kooning, and Klein, which would influence artists for generations to come.

"In Breslin, Rothko has the ideal biographer—thorough but never tedious, a good storyteller with an ear for the spoken word, fond but not fawning, and possessed of a most rare ability to comment on non-representational art without sounding preposterous."—Robert Kiely, Boston Book Review

"Breslin impressively recreates Mark Rothko's troubled nature, his tormented life, and his disturbing canvases. . . . The artist's paintings become almost tangible within Breslin's pages, and Rothko himself emerges as an alarming physical force."—Robert Warde, Hungry Mind Review

"This remains beyond question the finest biography so far devoted to an artist of the New York School."-Arthur C. Danto, Boston Sunday Globe

"Clearly written, full of intelligent insights, and thorough."—Hayden Herrera, Art in America

"Breslin spent seven years working on this book, and he has definitely done his homework."-Nancy M. Barnes, Boston Phoenix

"He's made the tragedy of his subject's life the more poignant."—Eric Gibson, The New Criterion

"Mr. Breslin's book is, in my opinion, the best life of an American painter that has yet been written . . . a biographical classic. It is painstakingly researched, fluently written and unfailingly intelligent in tracing the tragic course of its subject's tormented character."—Hilton Kramer, New York Times Book Review, front page review

James E. B. Breslin (1936-1996) was professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of From Modern to Contemporary: American Poetry, 1945-1965 and William Carlos Williams: An American Artist.

This first full-length biography of one of the greatest artists of the 20th century draws on exclusive access to Mark Rothko's personal papers and hundreds of interviews with artists, patrons, and dealers. Breslin reveals the complexities and contradictions of the man, his art, and his time. 21 color plates. 52 halftones.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

New York Times

“Mr. Breslin’s book is, in my opinion, the best life of an American painter that has yet been written. . . . A biographical classic. It is painstakingly researched, fluently written and unfailingly intelligent in tracing the tragic course of its subject’s tormented character.”—Hilton Kramer, New York Times Book Review

New Criterion

“He’s made the tragedy of his subject’s life the more poignant.”— New Criterion

Boston Globe

“This remains beyond question the finest biography so far devoted to an artist of the New York School.”—Boston Sunday Globe
New York Times - Hilton Kramer

“Mr. Breslin’s book is, in my opinion, the best life of an American painter that has yet been written. . . . A biographical classic. It is painstakingly researched, fluently written and unfailingly intelligent in tracing the tragic course of its subject’s tormented character.”—Hilton Kramer, New York Times Book Review

 

Chicago Reader - Ed Gero

“Historically, [Mark Rothko] is a rich work that beautifully sets out the New York art scene of the ’30s, ’40s, and ’50s, giving a palpable sense of this complex, conflicted artistic genius and monumental ego, his colleagues and his period.”—Ed Gero, Chicago Reader

 

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A hefty, bear-like man with voracious appetites, an alcoholic who withdrew into isolation and took his own life, Mark Rothko (1903-1970) made paintings that transformed despair into transcendent beauty. Breslin's biography, a splendid achievement, exorcises Rothko's private demons and explores how he invented a modern art which enacted his inner drama. Born Marcus Rothkowitz in Russia, raised in Portland, Oregon, from age 10, the painter launched an iconoclastic underground newspaper at Yale, became a ``self-made proletarian'' in the Depression, and progressed from expressionist urban moodscapes to surreal mythic pictures to the free-floating stacked rectangles that are his trademark. A melancholy man who never felt fully at home in his adopted country, Rothko festered with indignation as an outsider, but once he achieved fame and insider status, he felt corrupted and doomed by it, according to Breslin, a UC-Berkeley Enlgish professor and biographer of William Carlos Williams. Illustrated. (Nov.)
Arthur C. Danto
"Engagingly written and brilliantly researched... This remains beyond question the finest biography so far devoted to an artist of the New York School." -- Boston Sunday Globe
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226074061
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 5/22/2012
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 764
  • Sales rank: 219,628
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.38 (h) x 1.90 (d)

Meet the Author

James E. B. Breslin (1936–96) was professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of From Modern to Contemporary: American Poetry, 1945–1965 and William Carlos Williams: An American Artist.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents


List of Illustrations
1: Parnassus on 53rd Street
2: Dvinsk/Portland
3: New Haven/New York
4: Starting Out in the Depression
5: Working for the WPA
6: "All-Out War"
7: "'Globalism' Pops Into View"
8: "A New Life"
9: "An Art That Lives and Breathes"
10: Rothko's New Vision
11: Recognitions
12: The Dark Paintings
13: The Seagram Murals
14: Rothko's Image
15: The Harvard Murals
16: The Houston Chapel
17: Rothko's Aneurysm
18: The Gift to the Tate
19: Rothko's Suicide
Afterword
Documentation
Notes
Acknowledgments
Index
Photo Credits
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)