Mark Rothko, "Incantation", 1945/1946, private collection, London. © 2024 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko
  • 20 August 2024 17.30–18.00
  • The National Museum – The Light Hall

Join this guided tour of "Mark Rothko. Paintings on Paper" with Adam Greenhalgh from the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. This talk will explore Rothko’s key breakthrough of the mid-1940s by examining important watercolors of this period.

In the 1940s, Rothko looked for a symbolic visual language relevant to the turmoil of contemporary global events. He found guidance in Nietzsche and Jung and sought “tragic and timeless” subjects from the past, creating works on paper that resemble primordial scenes, classical architecture, or archaic artifacts. These watercolors prompted Rothko’s subsequent abstractions, in which he conveyed what he saw as the universal truths of human experience through suggestive forms and intense color. 

The tour will be held in English. The event requires registration at the information desk on the same day, and you must have a ticket to the museum in order to participate. The first-come, first-served principle applies. Attendance at the exhibition in the Light hall.

Adam Greenhalgh is an associate curator at the National Gallery of Art and has been lead author since January 2015 on the team producing the catalogue raisonné Mark Rothko: The Works on Paper. He is also the curator of the Mark Rothko: Paintings on Paper exhibition, which opened at the National Gallery in November 2023, and the author of the companion book.