Mark Rothko at Tate Modern

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Mural for End Wall (Untitled), Mark Rothko, 1959 /NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART, WASHINGTON

Another reason for my trip to London last month was to catch an early look at the show of Mark Rothko’s late works that just opened at Tate Modern. This is an exhibition built mostly around the series of paintings that Rothko produced in the late 1950s for the Four Seasons restaurant in New York, then famously decided not to give them because he realized his dark, pulsing canvases would go unappreciated by rich, distracted diners. Why this didn’t occur to him from the first is beyond me.

In any case, this is what I had to say about it in the European edition of this week’s Time.