Pictures must be miraculous

En junio de 1943, en la edición matinal del New York Times, Rothko, Gottlieb y Newman publican este manifiesto:

"1. To us art is an adventure into an unknown world, which can be explored only by those willing to take the risks.

"2. This world of imagination is fancy-free and violently opposed to common sense.

"3. It is our function as artists to make the spectator see the world our way not his way.

"4. We favor the simple expression of the complex thought. We are for the large shape because it has the impact of the unequivocal. We wish to reassert the picture plane. We are for flat forms because they destroy illusion and reveal truth.

"5. It is a widely accepted notion among painters that it does not matter what one paints as long as it is well painted."

[Rothko said "this is the essence of academicism".]

"There is no such thing as a good painting about nothing.

"We assert that the subject is crucial and only that subject matter is valid which is tragic and timeless. That is why we profess spiritual kinship with primitive and archaic art."

"I am not an abstract painter. I am not interested in the relationship between form and colour. The only thing I care about is the expression of man's basic emotions: tragedy, ecstasy, destiny."

"The role of the artist, of course, has always been that of image-maker. Different times require different images. Today when our aspirations have been reduced to a desperate attempt to escape from evil, and times are out of joint, our obsessive, subterranean and pictographic images are the expression of the neurosis which is our reality. To my mind certain so-called abstraction is not abstraction at all. On the contrary, it is the realism of our time. "

"Certain people always say we should go back to nature. I notice they never say we should go forward to nature."

"Pictures must be miraculous."

"The progression of a painter's work as it travels in time from point to point, will be toward clarity. toward the elimination of all obstacles between the painter and the idea. and the idea and the observer. To achieve this clarity is inevitably to be understood."

"Since my pictures are large, colorful and unframed, and since museum walls are usually immense and formidable, there is the danger that the pictures relate themselves as decorative areas to the walls. This would be a distortion of their meaning, since the pictures are intimate and intense, and are the opposite of what is decorative."

"The fact that people break down and cry when confronted with my pictures shows that I can communicate those basic human emotions.. the people who weep before my pictures are having the same religious experience I had when painting them. And if you say you are moved only by their color relationships then you miss the point."

“ I realize that historically the function of painting large pictures is painting something very grandiose and pompous. The reason I paint them, however . . . is precisely because I want to be very intimate and human. To paint a small picture is to place yourself outside your experience, to look upon an experience as a stereopticon view or with a reducing glass. However you paint the larger picture, you are in it. It isn’t something you command
-Mark Rothko

Rothko stated "As an artist you have to be a thief and steal a place for yourself on the rich man’s wall."