The Easel

Archives: Louis Menand

6th June 2015

Watching Them Turn Off The Rothko’s

Harvard University commissioned several paintings from Rothko for a dining room, failed to protect them and they have faded badly. Unable to be physically restored, hi-tech projectors instead shine coloured light on the paintings to compensate for the damage. Are they still authentic Rothko’s? “As one observer put it, when the lights go off, comedy turns into tragedy.”