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    Mark Rothko

    Jew Score:



    (Marcus Rothkowitz)
    September 25, 1903 – February 25, 1970

    Mark Rothko, one of the most accomplished artists of the 20th century, was born in Latvia as Marcus Rothkowitz. His father, a secular Jew, decided to turn to Orthodox Judaism. So Marcus was sent to cheder to study the Talmud, something he did not really enjoy.
    Immigration, name change, colorforms, and suicide followed.
    27 years after his death, Rothko's "White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose)" was sold for 72.8 million. It's hard for us to comprehend that. Sure, the colors are nice; we might give a million for it. Or maybe five. But 72.8?
    Still, we gotta hand it to Rothko, and it has nothing to do with that sale price. So what if he Anglicized his name? So what if his paintings are just slabs of color one on top of each other? So what if one of his major works is a chapel? So what if he killed himself? Any man who did not enjoy Hebrew school but still considered himself a Jew is cool in our book.

    Verdict: Jew.

    June 18, 2008

    See Also

    Marc Chagall

    Yves Klein

    Lee Krasner

    Jacques Lipchitz

    Peter Max
    © Jew or Not Jew, 2006-2024.