1. Rothko’s Birthday!
    September 25, 1903 – February 25, 1970

    The recipe of a work of art - its ingredients - how to make it - the formula:

    1. There must be a clear preoccupation with death-intimations of mortality … Tragic art, romantic art, etc. deals with the knowledge of death.

    2. Sensuality. Our basis of being concrete about the world. It is a lustful relationship to things that exist.

    3. Tension. Either conflict or curbed desire.

    4. Irony. This is a modern ingredient - the self effacement and examination by which a man for an instant can go on to something else.

    5. Wit and play … for the human element.

    6. The ephemeral and chance … for the human element.

    7. Hope. 10 percent to make the tragic concept more endurable.

    I measure these ingredients very carefully when I make a picture. It is always the form that follows these elements and the picture results from the proportions of these elements.

    - from a lecture by Mr. Rothko at the Pratt Institute in 1958

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