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Abstract master paintings | When a painting becomes a masterpiece

Mark Rothko’s 1954 (detail)

Mark Rothko and Joan Miró abstract masterpieces.

There are many reasons why an abstract painting can acquire the “masterpiece consideration” attribute. This article, developed together with spanish figurative painter Xavier Ribas, will show you two perfect examples: the first is a Mark Rothko painting auctioned in 2012, while the other is a Joan Miró´s one that can be seen at the Centre Pompidou in Paris

So, why or when an abstract painting becomes a masterpiece? There are many possible reasons. Sometimes the masterpiece may have one ore more of the following characteristics…

  • It marked a turning point in the history of painting and the artists was able, from that point on, to consolidate a new pictorial language;
  • The painter had a unique ability to explain something in a totally different way and was able to redo it consistently;
  • The painting perfectly reflects a universal nature and we humans decide it´s a  masterpiece for this reason;
  • The painting was able to influence many artists due to its force and unique expressiveness;
  • May it also be its unique style, features, size, simbology, or period of history when it was executed;
  • Maybe the painting was auctioned and reached astronomical figures never imagined before;
  • Or it was made on behalf of someone who perfectly knew how to market it as a masterpiece….

mark rothko abstract painting record

Rothko worked on compositions of seemingly generous monochromatic planes that are sequenced with atmospheric and open contours, providing an aurea to tones that give a sense of non-finite continuous, like a endow encouraged that supports and protects. They dilute all over the plane with a calm and monotonous brushstroke that invites contemplation.
The large size Rothko works help create a mystical feeling that envelops and transports the viewer to a personal and intimate emotional state.

The above 1954 painting called Royal Red and Blue may perfectly be an example of the above. It was auctioned in 2012. It´s final price was $75,1 USD MM, marking one of the highest prices ever paid for a Mark Rothko abstract painting.

To enjoy other Mark Rothko´s paintings, check this article about his famous black and grey ones.

Joan miro mastepiece, blue painting

Joan Miró belongs to the group of committed Surrealists (check this article to find out how to become a committed abstract artist), for whom the unconscious plays a major role in the creation of the compositions. Miró’s canvases are poetical inspirations with a human face. His brushstrokes are subtle and the diluted pigment in a thin layer of paint covers the canvas creating an atmospheric feeling as if it was a cloud that gently lifts you. In his famous Blue II you can appreciate a great contrast between the blue and red primary colors, simple and innocent shapes arranged as if it were a dream explained. A dream that attracts our curiosity and make us believe that this fantastic world as possible.
Miró was a master using blue color, and this painting, along with the other two that made the trio Bleu I, II and III, are a clear example.

Hope you have enjoyed this post. The next one will show you two more impressive masterpieces´examples. Stay tunned and remember that to be updated on future articles, you can subscribe to this blog or follow yasoypintor on facebook, pinterest or google +.

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6 Responses to "Abstract master paintings | When a painting becomes a masterpiece"

  • Anais Laurent
    February 26, 2013 - 10:29 am Reply

    Miro’s works are playful, and despite large areas of monochromistic colors, nearly always given the hint of a smile with objets or forms that seem to come out of nowhere to “leaven” our hearts. This is also true of his sculptures that walk with children’s souls in a world of industrialisation. Thank you for your articles, which are of great interest. Anaïs Laurent, Galerie Quint-Essences, Switzerland

    • yasoypintor
      February 27, 2013 - 10:18 am Reply

      Hello Anais, thanks a lot for your robust and interesting comment that certainly adds value to this article. Take care and see you back soon.

      Antonio Basso

  • Martn Joseph
    December 17, 2013 - 5:05 am Reply

    interesting & informative

    • yasoypintor
      January 26, 2014 - 7:28 pm Reply


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