Independent Art Voice

Rothko Masterpiece Vandalised With Marker Pen At Tate Modern

A masterpiece by the Abstract Expressionist artist Mark Rothko, owned by Tate Modern has been vandalised with a permanent black marker pen.  A Tate spokeswoman confirmed. That part of the Seagram murals donated to the nation in 1969 by the artist, was daubed with graffiti around midday. A stunned person in the gallery, at the time of the incident stated on Twitter; “This guy calmly walked up, took out a marker pen and tagged it. Surreal”.

The graffiti reads; “Vladimir Umanets, A Potential Piece of Yellowism.”which points to an obscure website, The domain is uploaded by two men, Vladimir Umanets and Marcin Lodyga. It  describs itself as a “superficial blog” about conceptual art. The vandal was white, male and thought to be in his 20s.

A similar incident took place in the US in June when a man vandalised an important  Picasso at a Houston museum. Uriel Landeros, 22, was captured on a cell phone video spray painting a bull and the word “Conquista” in gold onto Pablo Picasso’s “Woman in a Red Armchair,” Houston Crime Stoppers said in a statement. “Conquista” is Spanish for “conquest.

Rothko is one of the preeminent artists of his generation. He is closely identified with the New York School, a circle of painters that emerged during the 1940s as a new collective voice in American art. During a career that spanned five decades, he created a new and impassioned form of abstract Expressionist painting. Rothko’s work is characterised by rigorous attention to formal elements such as color, shape, balance, depth, composition, and scale; yet, he refused to consider his paintings solely in these terms. He explained: It is a widely accepted notion among painters that it does not matter what one paints as long as it is well painted. This is the essence of academicism. Rothko is one of the most important post-war artists of his generation, His work has sold for tens of millions of pounds.

Police are investigating the incident. The gallery was shut for a short period of time today and then reopened. Rothko’s Orange, red, yellow was sold for $86.9 million (£53.8m) when it went under the hammer at Christie’s in New York. In May 2012, a record price for the artist . Please refer any information to  +44 (0)20 7887 8888