Out of the Sky Came an Incredible Gift

By Carol Tannenhauser

Monday night’s sunset was breathtaking; we first learned of it from a photograph sent in by Mildred Alpern, a frequent contributor to West Side Rag, who wrote:

“Tonight, a Mark Rothko sky, bands of dusty pink and purple that are an homage to the great painter.”

Photograph by Mildred Alpern.

Many readers followed suit, sending in a string of sunset photos, each eliciting a gasp. But none had the impact of the following sent by Christopher Rothko, Mark Rothko’s son. He had received a copy of the Rag story from a friend.

Violet Bar (Untitled), 1957, by Mark Rothko.

“I think this is the painting your photographer had in mind,” he wrote. “Terrible reproduction, but in the same family as the sunset. I have been trying to pry this painting out of the hands of a Swiss collector for an exhibition I am curating in Paris in 2023.  Still working on it!”



ART, NEWS | 4 comments | permalink
    1. Karen says:

      As an art historian who has always loved Rothko, this is a really wonderful outcome of the reach of WSR. I wish Christopher the best of luck. Maybe this will help!

    2. The soft colors and bands brought Mark Rothko to mind, not one specific painting. “Violet Bar (untitled)” is wonderfully similar. Thanks, Christopher, for pointing it out.

    3. Kathleen says:

      All the best to you, Christopher! One hopes that the exhibition of your Father’s work will come to New York.

    4. EllenJacobs says:

      Where was the sunset photo taken?