Rothko Vandalized

WEB-smith11rv99.JPGRenovation of the Tate Modern’s vandalised Rothko
more difficult than expected
The work by Mark Rothko, Black on Maroon, vandalised
last month at the Tate Modern by an Yellowist “artist”,
will be exhibited again in no less than 18 months.
Indeed, the renovation of the painting results more
difficult that predicted.
After a thorough analysis, experts realised that it
would require a significant amount of work, much
more than previously expected. 18 months will be
necessary to bring back “its former glory”. The graffiti
painted by Vladimir Umanets as a tribute to his
conceptual artistic movement called “Yellowism” was
made with ink and not with a marker as it was thought
before. Therefore, the ink left a deeper mark on the
canvas and removing it will be much more difficult.
Curators and various experts in the field of restoration
have met in order to find a strategy for the renovation
of Black on Maroon. Independent specialists were also
asked to attend the meeting. One has to realise that
even though Rothko’s paintings seem not complicated,
they are very difficult to repair for the artist created
and mixed his own paints with unusual materials.
Some of his works consist of hundreds meticulously
layers sheets of colour in order to achieve such
richness and depth. Rothko’s works are very successful
on auctions, for example, N°1 (Royal Red and Blue)
was recently sold for $75.1m, which equals €59.62m,
during the sale held in New York.
Vladimir Umanets was arrested shortly after he
vandalised the painting. He immediately denied being
guilty; for him it was not a criminal offence but rather a
misunderstood artistic act. Nevertheless he was
charged with one count of Criminal Damage in excess
of £5,000 (€6,311).

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