Archival Program Information
For current Research Institute events, please see The Getty Event Calendar


Mark Rothko, No. 46 [Black, Ochre, Red Over Red], 1957
Frames of Viewing:
Seeing Rothko

Thursday, February 28, 2002
Museum Lecture Hall

These Events are free and open to the public, but seating reservations are required for both the Sessions and the Conversation.

Getty Research Institute is devoting its 2001- 2002 scholar year to exploring the role of the spectator in completing the experience and meaning of the work of visual art. The research of Getty scholars, along with the Institute's public programs have been unified under the title "Frames of Viewing: Perception, Experience, Judgment." Perhaps no artist of the recent past was more deeply concerned than Mark Rothko with the act of seeing and the conditions under which his work would face its audience. Critical and historical discussion of his art likewise hinges, more than for many of his contemporaries, on just what is being attended to in his paintings. They are widely acknowledged as seductive feasts for the eye, but the artist himself distrusted this effect of his work and sought to induce—by insisting on his own approaches to lighting and hanging—more profound modes of apprehension in his viewers. As such, Rothko's art presents itself as an ideal topic for a symposium that will bring Getty scholars together with other art historians, critics, and curators to consider the act of seeing in front of a Rothko painting—and, by extension, the act of seeing itself.

—Thomas Crow

9:15–9:30 a.m.
Welcome and opening remarks
Thomas Crow, Director, Getty Research Institute

9:30–10:15 a.m.
"The Marginal Difference in Mark Rothko: Seeing in Detail,"
Thomas Crow

10:15–11:00 a.m.
"Rothko's Frame of Mind," - CANCELED -
Dore Ashton, New School University

11:00–11:45 a.m.
"Squinting into Fog, Staring into Space: Early Critical Reactions to the Work of Mark Rothko,"
Sarah K. Rich, Assistant Professor, Pennsylvania State University

11:45 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
"The Figuration of Non-Figurative Work: The Existential Allegory of Rothko's Chapel,"
David Antin, Professor, Visual Arts, University of California, San Diego

12:15–1:30 p.m. - BREAK

1:30–2:15 p.m.
Dis-Orientation: Rothko's Inverted Canvases"
Jeffrey Weiss, Curator and Head, Department of Modern and Contemporary Art, National Gallery of Art

2:15–3:00 p.m.
"The Captive Imagination: Rothko's Later Work"
Briony Fer, Reader in History of Art, University College London

3:00–3:30 p.m. - BREAK

3:30–5:30 p.m.
Panel discussion with conference participants and special guests.
Moderator: Benjamin Buchloh, Professor, Barnard College, Columbia University

5:30–7:30 p.m. - BREAK

Harold M. Williams Auditorium

7:30 p.m.
Thomas Crow speaks with artists Larry Bell, Mary Corse, and Philip Taaffe.