Coming to PBS’s American Masters tonight, Friday, October 25:
ROTHKO: PICTURES MUST BE MIRACULOUS
American Masters (October 2019)
A biography of the influential abstract expressionist artist.
Eric Slade’s too-brief portrait traces the path Marcus Rothokowitz, took from Dvinsk, Russia to Mark Rothko, celebrated American painter. With Rothko’s deceptively “simple” canvasses now going for astronomical figures at auction, the film explores the many layers to his work and to his life, tragically cut shot by suicide in 1970. Interviews draw from his children as well as art historians and curators, as well as the curious and not fully successful inclusion of actor Alfred Molina, who played Rothko in the Tony-winning play RED. Clips from the latter attempt to liven up the oc, but feel a bit too forced and at odds with the otherwise straightforward PBS-styled biographical approach.