Written by Mathieu Doublet.
The Fondation Louis Vuitton presents the first retrospective in France dedicated to Mark Rothko (1903-1970) since the exhibition held at the musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris (MAM) in 1999. The retrospective brings together some 115 works from the largest international institutional and private collections, including the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., the artist’s family, and the Tate in London. Displayed chronologically across all of the Fondation’s spaces, the exhibition traces the artist’s entire career: from his earliest figurative paintings to the abstract works that he is most known for today. Aware of the responsibility involved in staging a Rothko exhibition today, and of the difficulty of bringing together rare and extremely fragile works by such an essential artist, the head curator, Suzanne Pagé, was keen to involve Christopher Rothko, the artist’s son and custodian of the Rothko legacy, who expressed particular satisfaction when he visited the MAM exhibition. This collaboration has enabled both to fulfil their respective missions. A great deal of thought went into the hanging, taking into account the artist’s repeatedly expressed wishes and interpreting them in the space, with the architects and collaborators striving to satisfy Rothko’s desire to give space the greatest possible eloquence and intensity. This exhibition of an artist for whom music - Mozart, Schubert - was vital, and who wanted to raise painting to the same pitch of intensity as music and poetry, will be marked by an exceptional creation from composer Max Richter, inspired by Rothko’s work.