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Soon after, Rothko showed evidences of his exceptional skill as an artist. It was in when his fame as an artist blossomed as several people began to take notice of his original and intense artworks. By the s, there were a few other modern artists who decided to have their artworks exhibited. This included Rothko, and the group was labelled as "The Ten". Rothko focused on exhibiting his works for the Works Progress Administration, where his masterpieces became federally-sponsored. Early in his life as an artist, Rothko's works featured various scenes and images of the bustling urban lifestyle.

His paintings also exude some mystery, intense emotions and isolation.

Mark Rothko - Biography and Legacy

During the post-World War era, he began to feature images of survival and death because of the situations that prevailed at the time of war. There were also some paintings that included concepts that were rooted from various religions and ancient mythical themes.

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It is also worth noting that Rothko's works included creatures and elements that were rather outwordly in nature. These themes were partly due to the influence of the surrealists' concepts, particularly by Joan Miro , Salvador Dali and Max Ernst.

How to paint like Mark Rothko – No 16 Red, Brown, and Black – with Corey D'Augustine - IN THE STUDIO

Along with Adolph Gottlieb, another artist, Rothko imbibed a strong concept of what art is, according to how they viewed it. He and Gottlieb believed that art should be an adventure of exploring an unknown and mysterious world. The two artists also favored more the simplified and direct expression of an intricate thought. Hence, in the s, Rothko joined a group of artists who considered themselves as Abstract Expressionists.

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They referred to their works as abstract in nature. This means, their masterpieces offered intense emotions and expression without any reference to the earthly world. He later credited it as another key source of inspiration for his later abstract paintings.


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The genre of Rothko's works continued in the s. Furthermore, unlike other paintings that had descriptive titles, his works only had numbers instead of a brief title. Rothko also opted to create paintings that were large scale, and he worked on vertical canvases. Most of his works included rectangles, which were colored in various colors depending on the message they were trying to imply.

These rectangles were also presented with a brightly colored background, which gives an image as though they were floating. And it contributes to the predominant sense we as viewers have of no longer seeing color fields set within a picture but a picture brought into identity with its own flatness.

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At the same time, however, the compositional reduction to a single horizontal division also calls up associations with landscape, as if we were gazing over the edge of a planet into a black void. In this case the white frame conveys the impression of a window opening on to some unknown reality. It is safe to assume that Rothko consciously toyed with these two contradictory effects.


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One striking result is the distance this creates between painting and viewer. The viewer no longer feels drawn into hovering color fields that appear to extend into his own space, as in earlier works, but confronted by a heightened presence—an iconic starkness. Mark Rothko Untitled , —53 Oil on canvas You will receive notifications, information about exhibitions and will benefit from promotions and other advantages. Tate Papers no. Martin The British critic Lawrence Alloway — generated a new vocabulary for American art of the s and s.

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