Bark Frameworks

Framing Projects

Mark Rothko: Works on Paper, 1941 - 1947, at Pace Gallery

June 2014

Bark worked closely with the Rothko estate and Pace Gallery to design frames for Mark Rothko’s early works on paper, which incorporated watercolor, ink, graphite and charcoal. Our designer Paul Jordan modified an original Bark profile to meet the esthetic and technical requirements of the work. Initially, aluminum profiles with a subtle patina finish were strong contenders, but ultimately our clients chose a hand painted maple frame with a finish that resembled the patinated surface of the metal frame. Three different casein finishes were used for the more than thirty works exhibited. 

Because of Mark Rothko’s use of such a variety of media—including watercolor washes—in  these works, we chose to protect them with Tru Vue Optium Museum Acrylic, a non-reflective, UV-blocking glazing material. An added virtue of this sheet is that it does not hold a static charge—in this respect, it is like glass rather than plastics, and is an excellent material to use with all loose media, such as graphite and charcoal.

The cool blue/grey color of the Pace Gallery walls—as well as the low-level tungsten lighting employed—created a dusky, contemplative environment in the gallery. The lighting, though low, was carefully adjusted, so that—along with the relatively dark walls and the non-reflective glazing—the works glowed like gems.

Photography: Jennifer M. Clark

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