Untitled (Green on Purple)

Rothko was an American painter of Russian origin. He was born in 1903, in a Jewish family, in what is today Latvia. The Cossack violence against Jews forced them to emigrate to the United States.

His artistic vocation developed late. He did not start to study art until he was twenty, in New York, coinciding with the city’s cultural rise.

Although his work is Abstract in style, it is different from that of Kandinsky or Pollock. He used large-format canvases, placing great rectangles of colour on them. This was “Spacialist” painting, which referred to the large spaces it created. He used painting as a way to express emotions and religious sentiment. The painting conveys a sense of intimacy that is helpful for meditation and concentration. There is nothing anecdotal in it; everything is the sublimation of painting, just colour.

Towards the end of his life, Rothko painted a series of pictures in dark colours, mainly black, that reflect the deep depression he was suffering from and which led him to commit suicide in 1970.

(c) (R) 2013, MUSMon com S.L.
Text (a) Catalina Serrano Romero

Photo: Mark Rothko in his West 53rd Street Studio, 1953 (a) Author: Henry Elkan. Source: Courtes Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Rudi Blesh Papers