Portland Celebrates Mark Rothko, Native Son

Artist's works on display at Portland Art Museum

The Details

Mark Rothko in Portland

Visitors can browse a retrospective of the work of abstract expressionist Mark Rothko from Feb. 18-May 27 at the Portland Art Museum.

While the museum hosted Rothko’s first museum exhibition in 1933-34, this is the first survey of his life’s work to be held in the celebrated artist’s hometown.

Rothko spent his early years in Portland, arriving from Russia in 1913 at the age of ten. He took his first art classes at the Museum Art School.

The new exhibit traces Rothko’s development as an artist from early representational pieces to the large color-field paintings for which he is best known. Rothko’s family is lending objects to the exhibit, which is organized by the Portland Art Museum’s chief curator Bruce Guenther.

Other arts groups are joining the celebration of Rothko’s life and work. Portland Center Stage is presenting the acclaimed drama “Red,” about Rothko’s struggles as an artist, and modern music ensemble Third Angle is performing “Rothko Chapel,” featuring music and words by composers inspired by the abstract expressionist movement. 

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