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Charles Loring Elliot, Frederic Edwin Church, 1866, oil on canvas, 34 x 27 inches (86.4 x 68.6 cm), New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, Olana State Historic Site, Taconic Region. 

Mnuchin Gallery, in collaboration with Michael N. Altman and Christopher Rothko, is pleased to present Church & Rothko: Sublime, a landmark exhibition mounted in a digitized, online experience and available for limited viewings by appointment beginning September 30th and continuing through Saturday, March 13, 2021. Illustrating a lineage of affective color tensions between the Hudson River School landscapes of Frederic Edwin Church (1826-1900) and the Color Field canvases of Mark Rothko (1903-1970), Church & Rothko: Sublime explores the aesthetic force of two American artists who probed the formal boundaries of the sublime.  

A preeminent painter in the nineteenth century, Frederic Edwin Church inscribed into his ethereal landscapes the astonishing spirituality inherent in the natural splendor of the Americas. He sought to express the rapture of the sublime in his paintings by reimagining and preserving the picturesque qualities of the natural world, during a time of rapid social change. Whether in the majestic presence of the Catskill mountains or the lush cradles of the South American tropics, Church articulated the sublime in his landscapes though delicately rendered details and divinely conceived expanses.  

The evocative power of the sublime was further manifested in the twentieth century in Mark Rothko’s abstract paintings. With a reconceived approach to the sublime following the destruction of the Second World War, Rothko purged from his works all representation and reference to the external world. He translated, instead, the awesome emotional potential at the core of the sublime into transcendent encounters with planes of bold, unburdened pigment. In deceptively simple overlays of gestured and expressive fields of color, Rothko conjures the sublime in physical and visual appeals to unmediated, emotional responses.  

Portrait of Mark Rothko. Photo by Bettmann / Contributor / Getty Images. Artwork © 2020 by Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko

Although separated by nearly a century and working under vastly different social conditions, Church and Rothko converge within the timeless sublime. Each artist, painting at the vanguards of American art, discovered innovative and compelling formal strategies to imbue the picture plane with psychological and reactive force. Church, with a radiant and atmospheric palette, and Rothko, with strikingly pure hues, both masterfully activate their compositions through intense, visually compelling interplays of color and form. The dynamic aesthetic and conceptual dialogues into which these two artists enter in Church & Rothko: Sublime, speaks to the enduring and resonating legacy of the sublime in American art history. 

Church & Rothko: Sublime brings together stunning examples of each artist’s engagement with the sublime at the height of their careers, including by Church, Marine Sunset (The Black Sea) (1881-82), Above the Clouds at Sunrise (1849), Coast Scene, Mount Desert (1852) and Oil Study for Cotopaxi 1861); and by Rothko, No. 1 (1949), Orange, Red, Yellow (1956) and No. 10 (1963). The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue authored by Dr. John Wilmerding, the storied art historian, scholar and collector, whose career has transcended time, crossed over a plethora of disciplines, and left an indelible mark on the places he tenured, the volumes of people he mentored, and the art history he penned and articulated. Dr. Wilmerding’s accompanying essay has explored, defined, and made sense of this exhibition in a way only this great man could, and only his deep and combined knowledge of art history and his comprehension of the times in which it played out, made his explanation of this exhibit possible. 

Installations

Installations Thumbnails

Photography by Tom Powel Imaging, Inc.

 

Reproduction, including downloading of Rothko Artworks is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express permission of the copyright holder.

Requests for reproduction should be directed to Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Photography by Tom Powel Imaging, Inc.

 

Reproduction, including downloading of Rothko Artworks is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express permission of the copyright holder.

Requests for reproduction should be directed to Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Photography by Tom Powel Imaging, Inc.

 

Reproduction, including downloading of Rothko Artworks is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express permission of the copyright holder.

Requests for reproduction should be directed to Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Photography by Tom Powel Imaging, Inc.

 

Reproduction, including downloading of Rothko Artworks is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express permission of the copyright holder.

Requests for reproduction should be directed to Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Photography by Tom Powel Imaging, Inc.

 

Reproduction, including downloading of Rothko Artworks is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express permission of the copyright holder.

Requests for reproduction should be directed to Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Photography by Tom Powel Imaging, Inc.

 

Reproduction, including downloading of Rothko Artworks is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express permission of the copyright holder.

Requests for reproduction should be directed to Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Photography by Tom Powel Imaging, Inc.

 

Reproduction, including downloading of Rothko Artworks is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express permission of the copyright holder.

Requests for reproduction should be directed to Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Photography by Tom Powel Imaging, Inc.

 

Reproduction, including downloading of Rothko Artworks is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express permission of the copyright holder.

Requests for reproduction should be directed to Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Photography by Tom Powel Imaging, Inc.

 

Reproduction, including downloading of Rothko Artworks is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express permission of the copyright holder.

Requests for reproduction should be directed to Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Photography by Tom Powel Imaging, Inc.

 

Reproduction, including downloading of Rothko Artworks is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express permission of the copyright holder.

Requests for reproduction should be directed to Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Photography by Tom Powel Imaging, Inc.

 

Reproduction, including downloading of Rothko Artworks is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express permission of the copyright holder.

Requests for reproduction should be directed to Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Photography by Tom Powel Imaging, Inc.

 

Reproduction, including downloading of Rothko Artworks is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express permission of the copyright holder.

Requests for reproduction should be directed to Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Photography by Tom Powel Imaging, Inc.

Reproduction, including downloading of Rothko Artworks is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express permission of the copyright holder.

Requests for reproduction should be directed to Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Photography by Tom Powel Imaging, Inc.

 

Reproduction, including downloading of Rothko Artworks is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express permission of the copyright holder.

Requests for reproduction should be directed to Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Photography by Tom Powel Imaging, Inc.

 

Reproduction, including downloading of Rothko Artworks is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express permission of the copyright holder.

Requests for reproduction should be directed to Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Photography by Tom Powel Imaging, Inc.

 

Reproduction, including downloading of Rothko Artworks is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express permission of the copyright holder.

Requests for reproduction should be directed to Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Photography by Tom Powel Imaging, Inc.

 

Reproduction, including downloading of Rothko Artworks is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express permission of the copyright holder.

Requests for reproduction should be directed to Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Photography by Tom Powel Imaging, Inc.

 

Reproduction, including downloading of Rothko Artworks is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express permission of the copyright holder.

Requests for reproduction should be directed to Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Photography by Tom Powel Imaging, Inc.

 

Reproduction, including downloading of Rothko Artworks is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express permission of the copyright holder.

Requests for reproduction should be directed to Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Photography by Tom Powel Imaging, Inc.

 

Reproduction, including downloading of Rothko Artworks is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express permission of the copyright holder.

Requests for reproduction should be directed to Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Photography by Tom Powel Imaging, Inc.

 

Reproduction, including downloading of Rothko Artworks is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express permission of the copyright holder.

Requests for reproduction should be directed to Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Photography by Tom Powel Imaging, Inc.

 

Reproduction, including downloading of Rothko Artworks is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express permission of the copyright holder.

Requests for reproduction should be directed to Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Photography by Tom Powel Imaging, Inc.

 

Reproduction, including downloading of Rothko Artworks is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express permission of the copyright holder.

Requests for reproduction should be directed to Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Photography by Tom Powel Imaging, Inc.

 

Reproduction, including downloading of Rothko Artworks is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express permission of the copyright holder.

Requests for reproduction should be directed to Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Photography by Tom Powel Imaging, Inc.

 

Reproduction, including downloading of Rothko Artworks is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express permission of the copyright holder.

Requests for reproduction should be directed to Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Photography by Tom Powel Imaging, Inc.

 

Reproduction, including downloading of Rothko Artworks is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express permission of the copyright holder.

Requests for reproduction should be directed to Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Photography by Tom Powel Imaging, Inc.

 

Reproduction, including downloading of Rothko Artworks is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express permission of the copyright holder.

Requests for reproduction should be directed to Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Photography by Tom Powel Imaging, Inc.

Reproduction, including downloading of Rothko Artworks is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express permission of the copyright holder.

Requests for reproduction should be directed to Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Photography by Tom Powel Imaging, Inc.

 

Reproduction, including downloading of Rothko Artworks is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express permission of the copyright holder.

Requests for reproduction should be directed to Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Photography by Tom Powel Imaging, Inc.

 

Reproduction, including downloading of Rothko Artworks is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express permission of the copyright holder.

Requests for reproduction should be directed to Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Selected Works

Selected Works Thumbnails

Mark Rothko 

Untitled 

1968 

tempera on paper drawing board mounted on canvas

 28 5/16 x 21 1/4 inches (71.9 x 54 cm) 

© 2020 by Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko

 

Frederic Edwin Church

Marine Sunset (The Black Sea) 

1881-1882 

oil on canvas 

30 1/8 x 42 inches (76.5 x 106.7 cm)

Mark Rothko

Browns and Blacks in Reds

1957 

oil on canvas 

91 x 60 inches (231.1 x 152.4 cm) 

© 1998 by Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko

Frederic Edwin Church

New England Lake 

1853

oil on canvas 

20 x 30 inches (50.8 x 76.2 cm) 

Frederic Edwin Church

Scene on the Magdalena

1854

oil on canvas

 28 1/4 x 42 inches (71.8 x 106.7 cm) 

Mark Rothko

No. 5 (Untitled)

1964

oil on canvas

90 x 69 inches (228.6 x 175.3 cm)

© 1998 by Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko

 

Frederic Edwin Church 

In the Tropics 

1856 

oil on canvas

25 1/4 x 36 1/4 inches (64.1 x 92 cm) 

Mark Rothko 

Untitled (Brown and Black)

1968 

acrylic on paper mounted on board 

33 1/4 x 25 3/4 inches (84.5 x 65.4 cm) 

© 2020 by Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko

 

Frederic Edwin Church 

Sunset on July 26, 1870

1870

oil on paper mounted on artist's board 

8 1/4 x 13 inches (21 x 33 inches) 

Mark Rothko 

Untitled 

1960 

oil on canvas 

92 1/2 x 81 inches (235 x 205.7 cm) 

© 1998 by Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko

Frederic Edwin Church

Mountainside Downpour

1871 

oil on paper laid down on canvas 

6 1/2 x 10 inches (16.5 x 25.4 cm) 

Frederic Edwin Church

Icebergs and Wreck in Sunset

1860 

oil on paperboard mounted on canvas 

8 1/4 x 12 1/4 inches (21 x 31.1 cm) 

Frederic Edwin Church

Coast Scene, Mount Desert 

1852 

oil on canvas

20 x 30 inches (50.8 x 76.2 cm) 

Frederic Edwin Church

Above the Clouds at Sunrise

1849

oil on canvas 

27 1/4 x 40 inches (69.2 x 101.6 cm) 

Mark Rothko 

No. 10 1963

oil on canvas

69 x 64 inches (175.3 x 162.6 cm) 

© 1998 by Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko

Frederic Edwin Church

July Sunset

1847

oil on canvas 

29 x 40 1/2 inches (73.7 x 102.9 cm) 

Frederic Edwin Church

Lake Scene in Mount Desert

1851

oil on canvas

20 11/16 x 30 7/8 inches (52.5 x 78.4 cm) 

Frederic Edwin Church

After the Rain Storm

1875

oil on canvas mounted on panel

22 1/2 x 33 1/2 inches (57.2 x 85.1 cm) 

Mark Rothko

Orange, Red, Yellow

1956

oil on canvas

79 x 69 inches (200.7 x 175.3 cm) 

© 1998 by Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko

Frederic Edwin Church

Oil Study for Cotopaxi

1861

oil on canvas

7 1/2 x 12 inches (19.1 x 30.5 cm) 

Frederic Edwin Church

North Lake

1847

oil on canvas

12 x 19 inches (30.5 x 48.3 cm) 

Frederic Edwin Church

Autumn in the Catskills

1856

oil on canvas

15 x 22 inches (38.1 x 55.9 cm) 

Mark Rothko

No. 1 

1949

oil on canvas

78 1/4 x 39 5/8 inches (198.8 x 100.6 cm)

© 1998 by Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko 

 

Frederic Edwin Church

Sunset

1860

oil on canvas

11 3/4 x 18 3/4 inches (29.8 x 47.6 cm) 

Frederic Edwin Church

Syrian Landscape

1873

oil on panel

15 1/2 x 22 1/2 inches (39.4 x 57.2 cm) 

Mark Rothko

Untitled

1954

oil on canvas

91 1/8 x 59 1/2 inches (231.5 x 151.1 cm)

© 1998 by Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko  

 

 

Mark Rothko

Untitled

1959

oil on paper mounted on board 

30 x 22 inches (76.2 x 55.9 cm) 

© 2020 by Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko

Mark Rothko 

Untitled 

1968 

tempera on paper drawing board mounted on canvas

 28 5/16 x 21 1/4 inches (71.9 x 54 cm) 

© 2020 by Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko

 

Frederic Edwin Church

Marine Sunset (The Black Sea) 

1881-1882 

oil on canvas 

30 1/8 x 42 inches (76.5 x 106.7 cm)

Mark Rothko

Browns and Blacks in Reds

1957 

oil on canvas 

91 x 60 inches (231.1 x 152.4 cm) 

© 1998 by Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko

Frederic Edwin Church

New England Lake 

1853

oil on canvas 

20 x 30 inches (50.8 x 76.2 cm) 

Frederic Edwin Church

Scene on the Magdalena

1854

oil on canvas

 28 1/4 x 42 inches (71.8 x 106.7 cm) 

Mark Rothko

No. 5 (Untitled)

1964

oil on canvas

90 x 69 inches (228.6 x 175.3 cm)

© 1998 by Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko

 

Frederic Edwin Church 

In the Tropics 

1856 

oil on canvas

25 1/4 x 36 1/4 inches (64.1 x 92 cm) 

Mark Rothko 

Untitled (Brown and Black)

1968 

acrylic on paper mounted on board 

33 1/4 x 25 3/4 inches (84.5 x 65.4 cm) 

© 2020 by Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko

 

Frederic Edwin Church 

Sunset on July 26, 1870

1870

oil on paper mounted on artist's board 

8 1/4 x 13 inches (21 x 33 inches) 

Mark Rothko 

Untitled 

1960 

oil on canvas 

92 1/2 x 81 inches (235 x 205.7 cm) 

© 1998 by Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko

Frederic Edwin Church

Mountainside Downpour

1871 

oil on paper laid down on canvas 

6 1/2 x 10 inches (16.5 x 25.4 cm) 

Frederic Edwin Church

Icebergs and Wreck in Sunset

1860 

oil on paperboard mounted on canvas 

8 1/4 x 12 1/4 inches (21 x 31.1 cm) 

Frederic Edwin Church

Coast Scene, Mount Desert 

1852 

oil on canvas

20 x 30 inches (50.8 x 76.2 cm) 

Frederic Edwin Church

Above the Clouds at Sunrise

1849

oil on canvas 

27 1/4 x 40 inches (69.2 x 101.6 cm) 

Mark Rothko 

No. 10 1963

oil on canvas

69 x 64 inches (175.3 x 162.6 cm) 

© 1998 by Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko

Frederic Edwin Church

July Sunset

1847

oil on canvas 

29 x 40 1/2 inches (73.7 x 102.9 cm) 

Frederic Edwin Church

Lake Scene in Mount Desert

1851

oil on canvas

20 11/16 x 30 7/8 inches (52.5 x 78.4 cm) 

Frederic Edwin Church

After the Rain Storm

1875

oil on canvas mounted on panel

22 1/2 x 33 1/2 inches (57.2 x 85.1 cm) 

Mark Rothko

Orange, Red, Yellow

1956

oil on canvas

79 x 69 inches (200.7 x 175.3 cm) 

© 1998 by Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko

Frederic Edwin Church

Oil Study for Cotopaxi

1861

oil on canvas

7 1/2 x 12 inches (19.1 x 30.5 cm) 

Frederic Edwin Church

North Lake

1847

oil on canvas

12 x 19 inches (30.5 x 48.3 cm) 

Frederic Edwin Church

Autumn in the Catskills

1856

oil on canvas

15 x 22 inches (38.1 x 55.9 cm) 

Mark Rothko

No. 1 

1949

oil on canvas

78 1/4 x 39 5/8 inches (198.8 x 100.6 cm)

© 1998 by Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko 

 

Frederic Edwin Church

Sunset

1860

oil on canvas

11 3/4 x 18 3/4 inches (29.8 x 47.6 cm) 

Frederic Edwin Church

Syrian Landscape

1873

oil on panel

15 1/2 x 22 1/2 inches (39.4 x 57.2 cm) 

Mark Rothko

Untitled

1954

oil on canvas

91 1/8 x 59 1/2 inches (231.5 x 151.1 cm)

© 1998 by Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko  

 

 

Mark Rothko

Untitled

1959

oil on paper mounted on board 

30 x 22 inches (76.2 x 55.9 cm) 

© 2020 by Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko

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