Art News – Monday, 8 October 2012

Breaking news!  At 3:25pm (15:25) local time Sunday, 7 October 2012, a Mark Rothko painting was vandalized at the Tate Modern in London, England.  An unidentified male individual used black paint and a brush to quickly write in the lower right hand corner of Black on Maroon (1958).  Mark Rothko was born in 1903 and emigrated to the United States with his family in 1913.  The artist gifted the painting to the Tate Modern and they arrived on the day he died in 1970.

A close up of the vandalization on Black on Maroon, 1958, by Mark Rothko.

Black on Maroon (1958) is a work from Rothko’s late period, produced after he had broken with the Surrealist movement.  The artist’s best known work comes from this period and consists of multiforms: blocks of various colors blurred around the edges, typically set within backgrounds of contrasting colors.  The painting is valued in the tens of millions.  The police are currently investigating the crime and the Tate Modern is conducting an internal investigation into their security practices.  In house conservators are assessing the damage done to the painting.

Update: the conservators at the Tate Modern are confident they can restore the painting!  Click here.

Update 10/10/2012: Vladamir Umanets admits to defacing Maroon on Black Click here.

Black on Maroon, 1958, by Mark Rothko, prior to vandalization on 7 October 2012.

Read the story by the Independent for more information: click here.