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Mark Rothko Virtosu Art Gallery

Mark Rothko Abstract artist Bio

Mark Rothko biography

Mark Rothko was born Marcus Rothkowitz on September 25, 1903, in Dvinsk, Russia. In 1913 his family left Russia and settled in Portland, Oregon. Rothko attended Yale University, New Haven, on a scholarship from 1921 to 1923. He left Yale prematurely and moved to New York. In 1925 he studied under Max Weber at the Art Students League. He participated in his first group exhibition at the Opportunity Galleries, New York, in 1928. During the early 1930s Rothko became a close friend of Milton Avery and Adolph Gottlieb. His first solo show took place at the Portland Art Museum, Oregon, in 1933.

Mark Rothko art

Rothko’s first solo exhibition in New York was held at the Contemporary Arts Gallery in 1933. In 1935, together with William Baziotes, Gottlieb, and others, Rothko founded the Ten, a group of artists sympathetic to abstraction and expressionism that exhibited until 1940. He executed easel paintings for the Works Progress Administration Federal Art Project from 1936 to 1937. By 1936 Rothko knew Barnett Newman. In the early 1940s he worked closely with Gottlieb, developing a painting style with mythological content, simple flat shapes, and imagery inspired by so-called primitive art. By mid-decade his work incorporated Surrealist techniques and images. In the autumn of 1943, Rothko returned to New York. He met with noted collector and art dealer Peggy Guggenheim, but she was initially reluctant to take Mark Rothko artworks. Peggy Guggenheim gave Rothko a solo show at Art of This Century, New York, in 1945.
“A painting is not a picture of an experience, but is the experience.” - Mark Rothko
In 1947 and 1949 Rothko taught at the California School of Fine Arts, San Francisco, where Clyfford Still was a fellow instructor. With Baziotes, David Hare, and Robert Motherwell, Rothko founded the short-lived school Subjects of the Artist, New York, in 1948. The late 1940s and early 1950s saw the emergence of Rothko’s mature style, in which frontal, luminous rectangles seem to hover on the canvas surface. In 1958 the artist began his first commission, monumental paintings for the Four Seasons Restaurant, New York. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, gave Rothko an important solo exhibition in 1961. He completed murals for Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1962 and in 1964 accepted a mural commission for an interdenominational chapel in Houston. Rothko committed suicide on February 25, 1970, in his New York studio. A year later the Rothko Chapel in Houston was dedicated, and in 1978, the Guggenheim Museum organized a major retrospective.
“I'm not an abstractionist. I'm not interested in the relationship of color or form or anything else. I'm interested only in expressing basic human emotions: tragedy, ecstasy, doom, and so on.” ― Mark Rothko

Mark Rothko Artist statement

A picture lives by companionship, expanding and quickening in the eyes of the sensitive observer. It dies by the same token. It is therefore risky to send it out into the world. How often it must be impaired by the eyes of the unfeeling and the cruelty of the impotent.

Art is such an action. It is a kindred form of action to idealism. They are both expressions of the same drive, and the man who fails to fulfill this urge in one form or another is as guilty of escapism as the one who fails to occupy himself with the satisfaction of bodily needs. In fact, the man who spends his entire life turning the wheels of industry so that he has neither time nor energy to occupy himself with any other needs of his human organism is by far a greater escapist than the one who developed his art. For the man who develops his art does make adjustments to his physical needs. He understands that man must have bread to live, while the other cannot understand that you cannot live by bread alone.

No.61 Rust And Blue
Mark Rothko paintings

No.61 Rust And Blue Mark Rothko Virtosu Art Gallery

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