A man has claimed responsibility for defacing a
valuable mural by Mark Rothko at the Tate Modern this weekend..
Vladimir Umanets, the Russian-born founder of the Yellowism movement admitted daubing the words ‘Vladimir Umanets, A Potential Piece of Yellowism’ in black ink or paint on the bottom of one of Rothko’s Seagram paintings.
Scotland Yard immediately launched an investigation into the incident, which occurred at the Tate Modern art gallery at around 3.25pm yesterday. The force said it was looking for a white male in his late 20s.
Today Mr Umanets said he had written on the painting, but insisted his aim was not to destroy or deface it.
"Some people think I'm crazy or a vandal, but my intention was not to destroy or decrease the value, or to go crazy. I am not a vandal," he said.
"It's good people are shocking about what happened, no-one is realising what actually happened, everyone is just posting that the piece has been damaged or destroyed or defaced.
"But I believe that after a few years they will start looking for it from the right angle. So that's why I did it."
Mr Umanets, who would not reveal his age or where he lives, said he knows he is likely to be arrested, but added: "I believe that from everything bad there's always a good outcome so I'm prepared for that but obviously I don't want to spend a few months, even a few weeks, in jail. But I do strongly believe in what I am doing, I have dedicated my life to this."
He said he did not plan exactly which painting he would write on, but thinks he found "the perfect choice", and said he feels he may have increased the value.
"To be honest, I do believe I increased the value, it seems probably ridiculous for someone but I do believe in this, I didn't decrease the value, I didn't destroy this picture, I put something new."
The Tate Modern said it does not have a price for the defaced piece, but paintings by the Russian-born artist often fetch tens of millions of pounds.
A spokeswoman said: "There was an incident at Tate Modern in which a visitor defaced one of Rothko's Seagram murals by applying a small area of black paint with a brush to the painting.
Eyewitness Tim Wright (WrightTG) posted on Twitter: "This guy calmly walked up, took out a marker pen and tagged it. Surreal.
"We gave a description to the gallery. Very bizarre, he sat there for a while then just went for it and made a quick exit."
A picture he uploaded to the social networking website showed five or six words scrawled on the bottom-right corner of the piece, with black streaks of paint running down from the daubed writing.
Earlier this year, Rothko's Orange, Red, Yellow was sold for £53.8 million - the highest price ever paid for a piece of post-war art at auction.
The 1961 painting went under the hammer at Christie's in New York.
Mr Umanets, who studied art, is one of the founders of "Yellowism", which he describes as "neither art, nor anti-art".
"Yellowism is not art, and Yellowism isn't anti-art. It's an element of contemporary visual culture. It's not an artistic movement.
"It's not art, it's not reality, it's just Yellowism. It can't be presented in a gallery of art, it can be presented only in a Yellowistic chambers.
"The main difference between Yellowism and art is that in art you have got freedom of interpretation, in Yellowism you don't have freedom of interpretation, everything is about Yellowism, that's it.
"I am a Yellowist. I believe what I am doing and I want people to start talking about this. It was like a platform.
"I don't need to be famous, I don't want money, I don't want fame, I'm not seeking seeking attention.
Source: Independent, 8th Oct. 2012
A man has been charged with defacing a Mark Rothko painting at London's Tate Modern gallery on Sunday, Scotland Yard has said.
Wlodzimierz Umaniec, 26, a Polish national of no fixed abode, will appear at Camberwell Green Magistrates' Court on Wednesday.
Mr Umaniec, also known as Vladimir Umanets, is charged with one count of causing criminal damage in excess of £5,000.
The artwork is a 1958 Seagram mural.
Witnesses saw a man daub the Rothko mural on Sunday afternoon before fleeing the gallery.
The Tate Modern was shut for a short period, then reopened at 15:25 BST.
The gallery said it does not have a price for the defaced piece, but paintings by the Russian-born artist often fetch tens of millions of pounds.
A spokeswoman said Tate's conservation team was assessing the damage.
Earlier this year, Rothko's Orange, Red, Yellow sold for £53.8 million - the highest price paid for a piece of post-war art at auction.
The painting went under the hammer at Christie's in New York.
Source: BBC, 9th Oct. 2012
Mark Rothko, an American Jewish painter, is chiefly known today for his huge and beautiful abstract pictures with horizontal bands of colour melting into one another. Colours that are oblique at the edges but are so deep that you can almost drown in them.
He was born in Latvia in 1903, then part of the Russian Empire, but went to America in 1913. He started painting in 1926 with a clear influence being Surrealism in his early work. It was quite different to the later work which Rothko built his reputation on, with more movement and swirling imagery.
Until 1940, he was known as Marcus Rothkovich, but because of a fear of the rise of Nazi sympathy in the US and the thought of deportation for European Jews, not only did he change it to Mark Rothko in that year but became an American citizen.
His first one-man show was at the Portland Museum in 1933 when he was 29.
He was married twice, firstly to Edith Sachar, a successful jewelry designer, and secondly to Mary Alice Beistle, an illustrator of children’s books.
His last studio at 157 East 69th Street, New York.
After suffering long-term from depresion, Rothko committed sicide in 1970 by cutting his wrists. He was 66.
As of July 2006, the record price paid for a Rothko painting is $22.5 million US dollars for Homage to Matisse.
- Aquatic Dreams
- Swirl at the Edge of the Sea
- Bathers, or Beach Scene (1933/34)
- Untitled (1949)
- Untitled (1950)
- Untitled No. 16 (1950)
- Violet, Green and Red (1951)
- Untitled (Green, Red on Orange) (1951)
- Number 12 (1951)
- No. 12 (c.1951)
- No. 61, Rust and Blue (1953)
- Homage to Matisse (1953)
- Untitled (1953)
- No 203 (1954)
- Yellow, Blue, Orange (1955)
- Untitled (1955)
- Orange and Yellow (1956)
- Untitled (1956)
- No. 14 (White and Greens in Blue) (1957)
- Red, White And Brown (1957)
- Untitled (1958)
- Untitled (1959)
- Untitled (1960)
- Number 14 (1960)
- Blue, Orange, Red (1961)
- Untitled (1961)
- Untitled (1962)
- Blue and Grey (1962)
- Untitled (1962)
- Untitled (c.1962)
- No. 10, Brown, Black, Sienna on Dark Wine (1963)
- White on Blue (1968)
- Untitled (Blue On Blue Ground) (1968)
- Acrylic on Paper (1968)
- Untitled (1969)
- London (Tate Modern)
- New York (Museum of Modern Art)
Oct. 12: Mark Rothko - Rare Tate Postcard Book Extensively Scanned
Mark Rothko Untitled (Violet, Black, Orange, Yellow on White and Red), Art Print
Mark Rothko Violet, Green and Red Art Print
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