See more recent work influenced by Mondrian and Rothko in my image sequence from 2014 Mondrian by Rothko
|How Rothko might have painted a Mondrian|
When Mondrian died in 1944, Rothko was still in his early forties and had not yet discovered his own style, the style with which we all associate him.
Rothko is reported as having made the occasional comment about Mondrian, such as when talking about abstraction. Rothko says [to Alfred Jensen] "Mondrian divides a canvas. I put things on it." To Rothko the elements on the canvas were objects in the real world, not abstractions of objects from the real world.
Although its not clear that, towards the end of his life, Mondrian didn't think exactly the same thing.
But Rothko was very respectful of Mondrian.
Again, to Alfred Jensen, he says "I have always told my students that Mondrian was capable of constant caressing attention to a white surface and with certain paintings he could continue this process for a whole year. To my way of thinking Mondrian was one of the greatest sensualists that ever lived."
"And his sensual qualityas projected by him shows itself despite him not being a colorist. When people find similarities in my paintings with the works of others, it only proves that my work is taking its rightful place in the development of art history."