Watch the Tate Modern Restore Mark Rothko’s Vandalized Painting, Black on Maroon: 18 Months of Work Condensed Into 17 Minutes

1960s: Days of Rage

Black on Maroon (1958)

“In 2012, a Russian artist calling himself Vladimir Umanets wrote his name and the words ‘A potential piece of yellowism’ in black marker on the corner of Mark Rothko’s 1958 canvas Black on Maroon. The damage to the painting, housed at the Tate Modern since 1970, was substantial, and it turned out to be one of the museum’s most challenging restoration projects, as well as one of its most successful — ‘far more successful than any of us dared hope,’ said Tate director Nicholas Serota. The painting went back on display in May of 2014. Due to Rothko’s layered technique, the painting’s ‘surface is really delicate and it turned out that most of the solvent systems that could dissolve and remove the ink could potentially damage the painting as well.’ Patricia Smithen, the Tate’s head of conservation, told The Guardian. The video above from…

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