Rothko, Mark

Rothko, Mark

biographical name

(born Sept. 25, 1903, Dvinsk, Russia—died Feb. 25, 1970, New York, N.Y., U.S.) Russian-born U.S. painter. His family settled in Portland, Ore., in 1913, and he took up painting (largely self-taught) after moving to New York City in 1925. His early realistic style culminated in the Subway series (late 1930s). The semiabstract forms of his work in the early 1940s developed into a highly personal, contemplative form of Abstract Expressionism by 1948. Unlike many of his fellow Abstract Expressionists, Rothko never relied on such dramatic techniques as violent brush strokes or the dripping and splattering of paint. Instead, his virtually gestureless paintings achieved their effects by juxtaposing large areas of melting colours that seemingly float parallel to the picture plane in an indeterminate, atmospheric space. Rothko spent the rest of his life refining this basic style through continuous simplification. In 1965–66 he completed 14 immense canvases, whose sombre intensity reveals his deepening mysticism; they are now housed in a chapel in Houston, which was named the Rothko Chapel after his suicide.

Variants of ROTHKO, MARK

Rothko, Mark orig. Marcus Rothkowitz

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