The MFA Reflects on Rothko

Featuring a rare glimpse at abstract expressionist Mark Rothko’s early work, the MFA’s retrospective on the artist seeks to understand where he came from and where he was going.    

“A painting is not a picture of an experience, it is an experience” painter Mark Rothko told LIFE magazine in 1959. Known for his reflective color field abstract expressionism, it’s fitting that the Museum of Fine Art’s current exhibit of his work is called just that: Mark Rothko: Reflection. With 11 masterpieces on loan from DC’s National Gallery of Art, the exhibit offers viewers a broader understanding of the artist’s career. Drawing a direct line from his younger surrealist work to the abstract expressionism he came to be known for, viewers enjoy a rare glimpse at early pieces like Thru the Window which are often left out of the Rothko canon.

On display until July of this year, the exhibit puts Rothko in context with himself, examines the path of his experience, and dissects the experiences he chose to put on the canvas.

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