Mark Rothko: Toward The Light In The Chapel

March 10, 2015|
Mark Rothko: Toward The Light In The Chapel by Annie Cohen-Solal
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From the prizewinning Jewish Lives series, a fascinating exploration of the life and work of Mark Rothko, one of America’s most famous and enigmatic postwar visual artists

"Cohen-Solal subtly demonstrates the link between Rothko’s three outsider statuses (artist, immigrant, and Jew), his color-block canvases, and his essential Americanness.”—New Yorker

“Gripping. . . . A rewarding close-up of Rothko’s . . . experience as a Jewish immigrant.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Mark Rothko, one of the greatest painters of the twentieth century, was born in the Jewish Pale of Settlement in 1903. He immigrated to the United States at age ten, taking with him his Talmudic education and his memories of pogroms and persecutions in Russia. His integration into American society began with a series of painful experiences, especially as a student at Yale, where he felt marginalized for his origins and ultimately left the school. The decision to become an artist led him to a new phase in his life. Early in his career, Annie Cohen-Solal writes, “he became a major player in the social struggle of American artists, and his own metamorphosis benefited from the unique transformation of the U.S. art world during this time.” Within a few decades, he had forged his definitive artistic signature, and most critics hailed him as a pioneer. The numerous museum shows that followed in major U.S. and European institutions ensured his celebrity. But this was not enough for Rothko, who continued to innovate. Ever faithful to his habit of confronting the establishment, he devoted the last decade of his life to cultivating his new conception of art as an experience, thanks to the commission of a radical project, the Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas.

Cohen-Solal’s fascinating biography, based on considerable archival research, tells the unlikely story of how a young immigrant from Dvinsk became a crucial transforming agent of the art world—one whose legacy prevails to this day.

About Jewish Lives:

Jewish Lives is a prizewinning series of interpretative biography designed to explore the many facets of Jewish identity. Individual volumes illuminate the imprint of Jewish figures upon literature, religion, philosophy, politics, cultural and economic life, and the arts and sciences. Subjects are paired with authors to elicit lively, deeply informed books that explore the range and depth of the Jewish experience from antiquity to the present.

In 2014, the Jewish Book Council named Jewish Lives the winner of its Jewish Book of the Year Award, the first series ever to receive this award.

More praise for Jewish Lives:

“Excellent.” – New York times

“Exemplary.” – Wall St. Journal

“Distinguished.” – New Yorker

“Superb.” – The Guardian
Annie Cohen-Solal's books include Sartre: A Life (a best-seller translated into sixteen languages), Painting American (Académie des Beaux arts Prize), and Leo & His Circle: The Life of Leo Castelli (ArtCurial Prize).
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Title:Mark Rothko: Toward The Light In The Chapel
Format:Hardcover
Product dimensions:296 pages, 8.25 X 5.75 X 1 in
Shipping dimensions:296 pages, 8.25 X 5.75 X 1 in
Published:March 10, 2015
Publisher:Yale University Press
Language:English
Appropriate for ages:All ages
ISBN - 13:9780300182040

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