Late at Tate – An evening with Rothko’s Seagram Murals

Mark Rothko Red on Maroon, 1959 © 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko ARS, NY and DACS, London


Reflect on Mark Rothko’s Seagram Murals in the twilight hours

22 October 2009
18.00 – 21.00
Tate Liverpool

Mark Rothko’s solemn and meditative Seagram Murals are set to inspire an evening of art and music at Tate Liverpool. From 18.00 – 21.00 on Thursday 22 October, Late at Tate will celebrate the return of The Seagram Murals to Tate Liverpool for the first time since the Gallery opened in 1988.

A talk by acclaimed curator Achim Borchardt-Hume will give visitors a thrilling insight into this unique artist and outline the story of these masterpieces of the Tate Collection. An atmospheric sound installation created by artist Colin Fallows and inspired by the works can be experienced in the Wolfson Gallery throughout the evening. In addition to this, visitors can visit the exhibitions after hours and take advantage of late opening in the Tate Liverpool café and shop.

In 1958 Mark Rothko was commissioned to paint a series of paintings for the most exclusive room at the Four Seasons restaurant, within the Seagram Building, New York. By 1959, having devoted himself to the commission for eight months, he declined the prestigious commission and returned his fee, deciding that the fashionable restaurant was not a suitable place for the contemplation of his art.


In the late 1960s Rothko gifted the works to Tate, expressing his deep affection for England and for British artists, especially JMW Turner. As part of the agreement with the artist, the works are on permanent show in a dedicated space of their own. Even the grey colour of the gallery walls is part of the artist’s specifications for the presentation of the nine canvases. The paintings arrived in London on the morning of Rothko’s suicide, 25 February 1970. Mark Rothko: The Seagram Murals at Tate Liverpool is supported by the Tate Liverpool Patrons.

From 18.00 – 19.00 Achim Borchardt-Hume, formerly of Tate Modern where he was responsible for curating the recent Rothko exhibition and now Chief Curator at the Whitechapel Gallery, explores the enigmatic paintings through Tate’s own history in this unique talk entitled Rothko and Tate: A Long-term Relationship. Tickets for the talk cost £4 (£2 concessions), and can be booked online or by calling Tate Liverpool on 0151 702 7400. This event is supported by Tate Liverpool Members.

Throughout the evening Colourfield for Strings, an immersive sound installation created by Colin Fallows, will be presented in the Wolfson Gallery. Created in response to Mark Rothko’s Seagram Murals, this free installation will take place in conjunction with the works, evoking the immersive presence of these enigmatic paintings. Large scale sound shapes are created from a rich sonic mix of electric guitar recordings by Colin Fallows and Will Sergeant. Colin Fallows is Professor of Sound and Visual Arts at Liverpool John Moores University. Will Sergeant is best known for his work as songwriter and guitarist with Echo & The Bunnymen. Fallows and Sergeant have collaborated since the 1980s on a variety of international artistic projects exploring the outer edges of experimental music. Colourfield for Strings is composed, arranged and produced by Colin Fallows. All guitars by Colin Fallows and Will Sergeant; recorded and co-produced with John J. Campbell at FTC Studio, Liverpool.