Church and Rothko Pairings Prove Sublime In This Gallery Exhibition

  • December 02, 2020 17:07

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Frederic Edwin Church. Image: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. Brady-Handy Photograph Collection.

A current exhibition titled Church & Rothko: Sublime at Mnuchin Gallery in New York pairs the Hudson River School paintings of Frederic Edwin Church (1826-1900) with the Color Field canvases of Mark Rothko (1903-1970). The gallery collaborated with Michael N. Altman and Christopher Rothko, the artist's son, to coordinate ten abstract 20th century works with an array of atmospheric 19th century landscapes -- glimpse the show online.

Roberta Smith writes for the New York Times, "The show’s opening combination is breathtaking. On one wall Rothko’s 'Browns and Blacks in Reds' (1957) presents a glowing stack in brown, red and black on a red ground. Adjacent is Church’s 'Marine Sunset (The Black Sea),' from 1881-82, an expanse of shockingly deep red sky with a little sun peeping over a choppy black sea tossing a dark ship. The colors are as blunt as the Rothko’s."

Also among the stellar works on view are Church's Above the Clouds at Sunrise (1849), Coast Scene, Mount Desert (1852) and Oil Study for Cotopaxi (1861); and by Rothko, No. 1 (1949), Orange, Red, Yellow (1956) and No. 10 (1963).

See the works in the gallery's online Viewing Room; limited in-person viewings are by appointment through December 12th, 2020. A fully-illustrated publication with an essay written by art historian Dr. John Wilmerding is available.

Tags: american art

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