Mark Rothko

American, 1903–1970

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Mark Rothko

American, 1903–1970

32,935
Followers
Biography

Mark Rothko’s search to express profound emotion through painting culminated in his now-signature compositions of richly colored squares filling large canvases, evoking what he referred to as “the sublime.” One of the pioneers of Color Field Painting, Rothko’s abstract arrangements of shapes, ranging from the slightly surreal biomorphic ones in his early works to the dark squares and rectangles in later years, are intended to evoke the metaphysical through viewers’ communion with the canvas in a controlled setting. “I'm not an abstractionist,” he once said. “I'm interested only in expressing basic human emotions: tragedy, ecstasy, doom, and so on.” His “Rothko Chapel Paintings” (1964-1967), 14 wall-sized monochromatic black paintings installed in a non-denominational church in Houston, Texas, represent the realization of Rothko’s desire that his work be viewed in close quarters.

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
Auction
High auction record
$87m, Christie's, 2012
User
Solo show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 6 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 17 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 3 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 3 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 2 more
Biography

Mark Rothko’s search to express profound emotion through painting culminated in his now-signature compositions of richly colored squares filling large canvases, evoking what he referred to as “the sublime.” One of the pioneers of Color Field Painting, Rothko’s abstract arrangements of shapes, ranging from the slightly surreal biomorphic ones in his early works to the dark squares and rectangles in later years, are intended to evoke the metaphysical through viewers’ communion with the canvas in a controlled setting. “I'm not an abstractionist,” he once said. “I'm interested only in expressing basic human emotions: tragedy, ecstasy, doom, and so on.” His “Rothko Chapel Paintings” (1964-1967), 14 wall-sized monochromatic black paintings installed in a non-denominational church in Houston, Texas, represent the realization of Rothko’s desire that his work be viewed in close quarters.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
Auction
High auction record
$87m, Christie's, 2012
User
Solo show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 6 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 17 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 3 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 3 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 2 more
Shows Featuring Mark Rothko
Articles Featuring Mark Rothko
The 10 Most Expensive Works Sold in 2019
Dec 26th, 2019
Abstract Expressionist Titans Drive Sales at Sotheby’s Contemporary Auction
Nov 15th, 2019
How Mark Rothko Unlocked the Emotional Power of Color
Jun 25th, 2019
KAWS Continues Market Rise at Phillips and $50-Million Rothko Sells at Sotheby’s
May 17th, 2019
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