Art: The Rabbi and the Moving Blur

At the Guggenheim Museum, a Rothko retrospective

Accident, madness and suicide have only one effect on an artist's career: they stop it. But they can do wonders for reputation. We might feel different about Van Gogh if, instead of shooting himself in the gut at 37, he had died full of age and honors in bed. The demand for Jackson Pollock's least scribble might be less fierce if a skidding car had not sent him the way of James Dean. And what of Mark Rothko, who killed himself with a razor and pills in...

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