Mark Rothko (1962)

H ard to know what to say – just a few colours lumped together really. Rothko said silence is so accurate” (no heckling at the back, please) and he painted what he thought, rather than what he saw, which may explain why his work resists analysis. This is best seen in the flesh – as much living texture as colour, and as much about your visceral response to its nature and scale as the simple, visual fact of it. It asks more questions than it answers: how does it make you *feel*? Where does one colour end and another begin? How closely or well are you looking? He asks you what colour is: red could be blood or could be sunset or could even be A Major; this picture could legitimately console you or terrify you. He was a Russian emigre in America, whod lived through the horror of World War Two – no surprise therefore that his work rejected any of the old certainties and instead offered something properly psychological in which to lose yourself utterly.