Page last updated at 14:47 GMT, Friday, 6 March 2009

Gallery shows artists' 'affinity'

Mark Rothko. Red on Maroon 1959 (left). JMW Turner. A Pink Sky above a Grey Sea, circa 1822  (right)

The works of two influential painters, JMW Turner and Mark Rothko, are being brought together in an exhibition to show the artists' similarities.

Tate Britain will highlight links between them in Turner/Rothko, which opens at the London gallery this month.

It will include works such as Turner's A Pink Sky above a Grey Sea, and six works from Rothko's Seagram Murals.

The gallery said the paintings on show will demonstrate the "striking affinity" between the two artists.

After visiting an exhibition of Turner's works at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York in 1966, Rothko is said to have remarked of the 19th century artist: "This man Turner, he learnt a lot from me".

Art history

Visitors to the exhibition will be able to view the Seagram Murals in a room next to a display of Turners from the 1966 MoMA exhibition which Rothko attended.

Director of Tate Britain Stephen Deuchar said: "Tate Britain has always presented different histories of British art, exploring its interaction with art from around the world.

"As the Turner exhibition tours from Russia to China and the Rothko exhibition moves to Japan, a unique opportunity has arisen to stage this pairing."

Joseph Mallord William Turner was born in London and entered the Royal Academy (RA) Schools in 1789 at the age of 14.

Russian-born Rothko emigrated to the US at the age of 10, and went on to become an important post-war painter.

He was commissioned to paint the Seagram murals in 1958 for Manhattan's Four Seasons restaurant, but they were never installed.

Shortly before his death in 1970, he presented some of the murals to the Tate Gallery.

Turner/Rothko opens on 23 March until 26 July.

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