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There are few painters whose work invites contemplation more easily or with more immediate rewards than Mark Rothko, whose luminous canvases can have an almost spiritual effect on the open-minded viewer. Rothko’s work and his 1956 painting “Orange and Yellow” from the collection of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery will be the focus of a talk from Albright-Knox Chief Curator Douglas Dreishpoon at 6:30 tonight in the gallery’s auditorium. Though the painting is on the road until 2015 as part of the gallery’s “Modern Masters” exhibition, it will serve as a jumping-off point into a larger discussion about Rothko and his work.

The talk is in collaboration with MusicalFare Theatre, which is working with the gallery to cross-promote its upcoming production of “Red,” a play about Rothko, in the 710 Main Theatre. The event also will feature scenes from the play performed by Paul Todaro and P.J. Tighe. The 90-minute show, which imagines conversations between Rothko and his young assistant, will run from March 13 to 30.

Tonight’s event is free and will feature a reception. Call 270-8247 to make reservations or email membership@albrightknox.org. Visit www.albrightknox.org or www.musicalfare.com.

– Colin Dabkowski