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Academic & writer

Press : Toward the Light in the Chapel

The New York Times : Sunday Book Review
“Mark Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel,” by Annie Cohen-Solal

June 25, 2015 | By Yaëlle Azagury
“The contribution of Jewish writers, musicians, movie directors and art critics from Eastern Europe to American cultural life in the 20th century is undeniable and has been copiously documented. Jewish artists, however, have largely escaped this scrutiny. Perhaps this is strictly owing to a scarcity of significant figures until the rise of abstraction in the second half of the century, which occurred, first and foremost, because of Judaism’s notorious aniconism and its vexed relationship with art.”
BOOK REVIEW – Mark Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel,’ by Annie Cohen-Solal
The Washigton Post
May 9, 2015 | By Meryle Secrest
“Inside the Mark Rothko room at the Phillips Collection, the atmosphere is hushed, even reverential. People tiptoe in, slide onto seats and begin to stare. The room is dominated by a few large canvases in blocks of powerful color. The longer one stays, the more the works start to pulse and hum, as if taking on a life of their own. Rothko discovered some inexplicable, perhaps mystical secret that belies the apparent minimalism of his compositions. What was it?”
Robert Fulford | March 31, 2015 |
Rothko biography traces the artist’s spiritual values back to his Jewish childhood
In the 1950s, Mark Rothko accepted a handsome commission, a series of murals for the Four Seasons restaurant in the new Seagram building on Park Avenue. He worked for eight months on his plan for the paintings and then visited the finished building to see where his work would hang. He hated the restaurant for its pretension. “A place where the richest bastards in New York will come to feed and show off,” he said.

Cohen–Solal’s fascinating biography, based on considerable archival research, tells the unlikely story of how a young immigrant from Dvinsk became a crucial transforming agent of the art world—one whose legacy prevails to this day.”

Mark Rothko & Ukraine update on Late Night Live
Wednesday 17th June | with Phillip Adams on RN