(Artist research and analysis, by K. Shiuka)
American artist Marc Rothko (1903–1970) is best known as one of the central figures of the Abstract Expressionist movement in American art in the 1950s and '60s. Rothko was born in Latvia, on September 25, 1903 and immigrated to the United States age 9 with his family.
Mark Rothko excelled at academics and graduated from Portland's Lincoln High School in 1921. He attended Yale University, studying both the liberal arts and the sciences until he left without graduating in 1923. He then moved to New York City and studied briefly at the Art Students League. In 1933, Rothko's art was shown in one-person exhibitions at the Museum of Art in Portland and the Contemporary Arts Gallery in New York. During the 1930s, Rothko also exhibited with a group of modern artists who called themselves "The Ten," and he worked on federally sponsored arts projects for the Works Progress Administration.
In the 1940s, Rothko's artistic subjects and style began to change. Earlier, he had been painting scenes of urban life with a sense of isolation and mystery; after World War II, he turned to timeless themes of death and survival, and to concepts drawn from ancient myths and religions.
In 1943, Rothko and fellow artist Adolph Gottlieb wrote a manifesto of their artistic beliefs, such as "Art is an adventure into an unknown world" and "We favor the simple expression of the complex thought." Rothko and Gottlieb, along with Jackson Pollock, Clyfford Still, Willem de Kooning, Helen Frankenthaler, Barnett Newman and others, became known as the Abstract Expressionists.
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. Rothko wasn't interested in the relationship between form and colour. The only thing he cared was the expression of man's basic emotions: tragedy, ecstasy, destiny.
By the 1950s, Rothko's art was completely abstract. In the mid-20th century, he belonged to a circle of New York-based artists who became known as the Abstract Expressionists. His signature works, large-scale paintings of luminous colored rectangles, used simplified means to evoke emotional responses.
In the 1960s, Rothko began to paint in darker colors, especially maroon, brown and black.
In 1968Rothko was diagnosed with heart trouble and suffered from depression. He committed suicide in his studio on February 25, 1970.
What Mark Rothko thinks about modern art & people.In 2012 in New York Mark Rothko's artwork 'Orange, Red, Yellow" sold for $86,882,500. That was record.