Rothko and Richter, A 20th Century Landscape

The landscape is one of arts most enduring subject matters–however, depending on the artist and period, the execution of a landscape has been ever changing. When looking at Mark Rothko’s mid 20th century color-field paintings, the viewer almost steps inside of it into an abstracted landscape. Detached from the material world and without any context, the viewer mind is left able to project any scene onto the canvas. The colors on the canvas provide the only boundaries for the landscape. The color which are painted mostly in two sections, form a horizon line that separates the sky and the earth or water below. The Rothko colorfield paintings allow the viewer to create their own ideal landscape by leaving the subject matter vague and open to their own projections.

Conversely, German artist Gerhard Richter’s late 20th-century photorealistic landscapes are seemingly the antithesis of Rothko’s. Richter’s landscapes, however, still have the same painterly and abstract quality about them like Rothko’s color fields. Richter’s landscape show you one specific scene in such a realistic way that they are almost crossing into unrealistic territory. This connection between the totally abstract Rothko landscape and the photorealistic Richter one can be easily made when an examples of each artist’s landscape are viewed next to each other. For example, when looking at the first painting in this below and Mark Rothko’s completely black canvas from the Rothko Chapel, the viewer can see into the painting and see the exact scene that Richter paints to the right.

The connections between the genius abstract painter and the master painter of realism are more than what meets the eye. 

Mark Rothko, ‘Untitled’
Gerhard Richter, ‘Paysage Enneigé (flou)’ 1966
Mark Rothko, ‘Untitled’
Gerhard Richter, ‘Seascape (Brown, Smooth)’ 1969
Mark Rothko, ‘Blue’ 1969
Gerhard Richter, ‘Iceberg’ 1982
Mark Rothko, Untitled

 

Gerhard Richter, ‘Sommertag’ 1999
Mark Rothko, ‘Untitled (Yellow and Green)’, 1954
Gerhard Richter, ‘Apple Trees (Sketch)’ 1987

 

 

97 thoughts on “Rothko and Richter, A 20th Century Landscape”

  1. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article. I’ll make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I will definitely comeback.

  2. I am not positive the place you’re getting your information, however great topic. I needs to spend some time studying more or working out more. Thank you for fantastic info I used to be searching for this information for my mission.

    1. Hi, I am glad you liked it. This blog post was based on an Art History project I did at school where we curated our own exhibits, so the connection between Rothko and Richter was one I made on my own. I find them to be incredibly similar, its not based on any outside information, but rather what I personally see. I hope you will continue to read my blog!

  3. I blog quite often and I seriously appreciate your information. Your article has really peaked my interest. I’m going to book mark your blog and keep checking for new information about once a week. I opted in for your RSS feed too.

  4. I’m impressed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s equally educative and engaging, and without a doubt, you’ve hit
    the nail on the head. The problem is something too few people are speaking intelligently about.
    Now i’m very happy that I found this in my search for something regarding this.

  5. Excellent web site you’ve got here.. It’s difficult to find excellent writing like
    yours nowadays. I seriously appreciate individuals like you!
    Take care!!

  6. Whoa! This blog looks exactly like my old one!
    It’s on a totally different topic but it has pretty much the same page
    layout and design. Wonderful choice of colors!

  7. I got this site from my friend who shared with me regarding this site and now this time I am browsing this web page and
    reading very informative posts at this place.

  8. I was very pleased to uncover this great site. I need to to thank you
    for ones time just for this fantastic read!! I definitely liked every bit of it and I
    have you bookmarked to look at new things in your blog.

  9. Your style is unique in comparison to other people I’ve read
    stuff from. I appreciate you for posting when you’ve
    got the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this page.

  10. I needed to thank you for this wonderful read!!
    I absolutely loved every bit of it. I have you bookmarked to check out new
    things you post…

  11. Fantastic post however I was wanting to know if you
    could write a litte more on this topic? I’d be very grateful if you
    could elaborate a little bit further. Bless you!

  12. I blog frequently and I genuinely appreciate your content.

    Your article hhas truly peaked my interest. I will take a note
    of your site and keep checking for new details about once per week.
    I subscribed to yor Feed as well.

    1. Hi, I picked Gerhard Richter and Mark Rothko to compare for an art history project, but I also always saw similarities in their work. For example, when I look at an all black Rothko painting, I always see a Richter-esque landscape beneath it. Thank you for reading and I hope that answered your question.

  13. Great beat ! I would like to apprentice whilst you amend your site, how could i subscribe for a blog website?
    The account helped me a applicable deal. I were a little bit
    bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered vibrant clear concept

    Look at my page; CarlyQHerena

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *