October 3, 1943
Artists Adolph Gottlieb and Mark Rothko discuss, "The Portrait and the Modern Artist," on WNYC's Art in New York with Hugh Stix
The abstract expressionist painters respond to a letter writer who asks: "The portrait has always been linked in my mind with a picture of a person. I was therefore surprised to see your paintings of mythological characters, with their abstract rendition, in a portrait show, and would therefore be very much interested in your answers to the followingâ€”
1. Why do you consider these pictures to be portraits?
2. Why do you as modern artists use mythological characters?
3. Are not these pictures really abstract paintings with literary titles?
4. Are you not denying modern art when you put so much emphasis on subject matter?"
Editor's Note: Congratulations to reader Robert Auld for taking on the challenge to determine fact from fiction in last week's April Fool's edition of the History Notes. It was an impressive effort!