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Appreciation of Color-Field Paintings through Reception Theory: A Case Study of Mark Rothko

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DOI: 10.23977/artpl.2023.041305 | Downloads: 36 | Views: 456


Yubo Liu 1, Xin Guan 2


1 College of Design, Guangxi Arts University, Nanning, China
2 Academy of Arts, Anyang Normal University, Anyang, China

Corresponding Author

Yubo Liu


By using Jauss and Issel's "reception aesthetics" to analyse and appreciate Rothko's Color-Field paintings, it is discovered that Rothko focuses on conveying inner emotions through pure artistic forms and emphasizes communication with the audience. This aligns with the theories of "horizon of expectations," "response-inviting structure," and "the implied reader" in reception aesthetics. Rothko does not wish to provide excessive interpretations of his works; instead, he wants the audience to have more space for personal feelings. He believes that a work is only complete when the audience engages in emotional communication and actively engages in aesthetic re-creation while appreciating the painting. The interplay between reception aesthetics theory and Rothko's art not only opens up new perspectives for appreciating his paintings but also expands the application scope of reception aesthetics from an artistic standpoint.


Reception aesthetics, Color-field painting, Rothko


Yubo Liu, Xin Guan, Appreciation of Color-Field Paintings through Reception Theory: A Case Study of Mark Rothko. Art and Performance Letters (2023) Vol. 4: 25-30. DOI:


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