How to paint like Mark Rothko – No 16 Red, Brown, and Black – with Corey D’Augustine | IN THE STUDIO

How to paint like Mark Rothko – No 16 Red, Brown, and Black – with Corey D’Augustine | IN THE STUDIO

(somber piano music) Voiceover: In the 1950s, Mark
Rothko explored how forms could float in space,
sometimes advancing toward you, other times quietly
receding away from you. Now by looking at his paintings, there’s a number of ways
that we could discern how these effects are achieved. However, Rothko was notoriously hermetic about his studio practices. We don’t know all that
much about what materials he used and how exactly he did it, but by looking closely,
we can learn a lot. Now how these forms
are liberated in space, how they even have this
ability to move via color is also about the way Rothko handles the edges of these
floating cloud-like forms. Rothko layered zone over
zone over zone of paint. Here we can a very bright
blue, almost totally overpainted by a dark burgundy. It appears that Rothko
often flared out paint, one layer over another and
as we look at the edges, we realize that there’s
kind of a buzzing sensation as these two colors
compete for our attention and almost vibrate against one another. To further allow these forms to float off and away from the surface of the canvas, Rothko often softened the
corners of these forms and here we see something
called a “turpentine burn”, where the artist likely
took some solvent on the rag and scrubbed back into
the surface of the canvas, blending all of those
colors together meanwhile erasing a hard corner,
which would visually locate that form in space. In addition to leaving
hints of these colors around the edges of forms, crucially, Rothko allows
you to see through veils of paint because
he painted so thinly. Now let me show you exactly
how Rothko painted so thinly. Rothko would add so much
turpentine to his paint, that he would stain the canvas, less painting on the canvas, but really pushing his paint into it as a stain. Because these stains are so thin, you’re able to read one color
quite literally through another. In thicker areas of paint,
you see the over layer. In thinner areas of that over layer, you begin to see the under layer. And because Rothko layered
color over color over color, any given zone is infinitely complex. Rothko thought that if the
viewer properly experienced his paintings, that he or
she would very often cry. We’re quite literally
talking about a painter who wanted his viewers to experience the kind of emotions that
he very likely did himself. It’s not uncommon for people
to be emotionally moved, perhaps even to cry
when listening to music. However, it’s very rare that visual art can evoke those same emotions. Rothko, if you will, is competing
on the territory of music, trying to evoke very, very
strong emotions through paint. The experience of viewing his painting is a very somber one. It lacks resolution. Although it’s very quiet,
although it’s a quite beautiful painting, it’s a painting that never has a finality to it. It’s one that almost unravels in time.

Dereck Turner

7 thoughts on “How to paint like Mark Rothko – No 16 Red, Brown, and Black – with Corey D’Augustine | IN THE STUDIO

  1. The Museum of Modern Art says:

    Tune in for a live Q&A with Corey on Wednesday, February 7 at 3:00 p.m. EST! He’ll be answering any questions you might have on artists, materials, and techniques.

  2. Elene Qaldani says:

    I'm so glad that RM mentioned Mark in his Vlive or else I would not know about this amazing artist. His art is so moving and interesting.

  3. Juan Bosco says:

    So happy to discover your videos!!!, as a learning artist, I really appreciate them!
    ps: if you ever go to Frankfurt, come to say Hi to my gallery 🙂

  4. Dries Ketels says:

    Is the Tate now copying MOMA with their how to paint like 'insert legendary artists here'?

  5. ASMR TingleTime says:

    Please do longer videos of these. GREAT series. its the reason im into art and Moma.

  6. Harry Fox says:

    I’m here for homework and if your wondering how he died he committed suicide

  7. giulia rzewski says:

    what's the intro song?

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