- NAME: Mark Rothko
- OCCUPATION: Painter
- BIRTH DATE: September 25, 1903
- DEATH DATE: February 25, 1970
- EDUCATION: Yale University, Lincoln High School, Art Students League
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Dvinsk, Russia (now Daugavpils, Latvia), Latvia
- PLACE OF DEATH: New York, New York
- AKA: Mark Rothkowitz
- Full Name: Marcus Rothkowitz
- AKA: Mark Rothko
- AKA: Marcus Rothkovitch
- AKA: Marcus Rothkovich
Best Known For
Marc Rothko is best known as one of the central figures of the Abstract Expressionist movement in American art in the 1950s and '60s.
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Rothko's use of broad, simplified areas of color (rather than gestural splashes and drips of paint) caused his style to be categorized as "Colorfield Painting." He painted in thin, layered washes of color that seemed to glow from within, and his large-scale canvases were intended to be seen at close range, to that the viewer would feel engulfed by them.
In the 1960s, Rothko began to paint in darker colors, especially maroon, brown and black. He received several commissions for large-scale public works during these years. One was a group of murals for the Four Seasons restaurant in New York's Seagram Building, which Rothko never completed since he withdrew from the project; another was a series of paintings for a non-denominational chapel in Houston, Texas. Rothko consulted with the chapel's architects, and the final product was the ideal space for contemplation of his stark, yet immersive, canvases.
Rothko was diagnosed with heart trouble in 1968 and suffered from depression. He committed suicide in his studio on February 25, 1970. He was survived by his second wife, Mary Alice Beistle, and by his children, Kate and Christopher. His personal holdings of nearly 800 paintings possession became the center of an extended legal battle between his family and the executors of the will. The remaining work was eventually divided between the Rothko family and museums around the world.
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