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Rothko’s ‘Black on Maroon’ painting vandalised in Tate Modern, artist claims an act of ‘Yellowism’

In what was seen as one of the worst security breach ever to hit the highly prestigious Tate Modern gallery, the ‘Black on Maroon’ painting by Mark Rothko made in 1958 was defaced by a man in his late 20s. The painting is part of the Seagram mural series which Rothko gave the gallery in 1969 and it is said to be worth tens of millions of pounds.

Rothko’s painting ‘Orange, Red and Yellow’ currently hold one of the highest price for contemporary art when Christie’s sold off one of his works for £53.8 million in New York early this year. This one now has a graffiti that read ‘Vladimir Umanets, A Potential Piece of Yellowism’ and he said that he did the act on behalf of the Yellowism movement which shocked visitors to the prominent art space. Umanets calls himself an artist and not a vandal and he said that it is an expression of the movement that he co-founded.

He said that the movement is different from art in general because the latter allows freedom of expression while Yellowism does not, limiting to only the concept of Yellowism.  According to its resources, it is not art but it is also not anti-art in any way. Witnesses claimed that Umanets just calmly walked towards the painting, took out a marker pen and proceeded to write on it. After that, he sat there for a while, appreciated his work and quickly left the Tate Modern, on eo fht emost visited art gallery in the world.