Master abstract expressionist Mark Rothko has just landed the biggest commission in the history of modern art, a series of murals for New York’s famed Four Seasons Restaurant. In the two fascinating years that follow, Rothko works feverishly with his young assistant, Ken, in his studio on the Bowery. But when Ken gains the confidence to challenge him, Rothko faces the agonizing possibility that his crowning achievement could also become his undoing. Raw and provocative, RED is a searing portrait of an artist’s ambition and vulnerability as he tries to create a definitive work for an extraordinary setting.
Winner of the 2010 Tony Award. “Intense and exciting…a study in artist appreciation, a portrait of an angry and brilliant mind that asks you to feel the shape and texture of thoughts…RED captures the dynamic relationship between an artist and his creations.” —NY Times. “Smart, eloquent entertainment…Logan’s dialogue is a sleight of hand; behind its wallop is a lot of learning…Logan sometimes appropriates Rothko’s epigrams (‘Silence is so accurate’), but his own idiom is well wrought and delightful. He doesn’t just tell; he also shows, at one point having Rothko collaborate with Ken in mixing paint and priming canvases. As classical music blasts from the record player, they slather the paint over the canvas, a balletic, two-minute explosion of activity that deftly conjures what most plays about artists don’t: the exhilaration of the act.” —The New Yorker. “John Logan sends American abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko into battle with his demons in this electrifying play of ideas, and the artist’s howls are pure music…Rothko is one old lion that will keep roaring until he draws his last breath.” —Variety. “Logan’s success lies in reminding us that painting is a job of work…what emerges is something rare in modern drama: a totally convincing portrait of the artist as a working visionary.” —Guardian (UK).