Mark Rothko


Artist Biography:

Mark Rothko was an American painter, born at Dvinsk in Russia. In the mid-20th century, he joined a circle of New York-based artists which included Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock. The group became known as the Abstract Expressionists. Rothko created simplified compositions and flat areas of colour in his work. In 1947 Rothko turned to complete abstraction creating his signature style paintings with large soft-edged areas of colour. Rothko began to stain pigments into his canvas by applying numerous thin layers of colour one over the other, often allowing portions of these layers to appear through the top coat of paint. This was done to achieve the effect of light emanating from the very core of his paintings. He was quoted as saying that he wanted to express “basic human emotions – tragedy, ecstasy, doom...The people who weep before my pictures are having the same religious experience I had when I painted them.”

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