en-es  The Life and Art of Mark Rothko
La vida y el arte de Mark Rothko

por Lisa Marder, actualizado el 02 de agosto de 2017.

Mark Rothko (1903-1970) fue uno de los miembros más conocidos del movimiento Expresionista Abstracto, conocido principalmente por sus pinturas de campo de color. Sus famosas pinturas a gran escala de campos color, consistentes únicamente en grandes bloques rectangulares de color flotante y vibrante, envuelven, conectan y transportan al espectador a otro ámbito, a otra dimensión, liberando al espíritu de los confines del estrés cotidiano.

Estas pinturas a menudo brillan desde dentro y parecen casi vivas, respirando, interactuando con el espectador en un diálogo silencioso, creando un sentido de lo sagrado en la interacción, que recuerda la relación I-Thou (Yo-Tú) descrita por el famoso teólogo Martin Buber.

Sobre la relación de sus obras con el que las mira dijo Rothko: "Una pintura vive por medio de la compañía, expandiéndose y avivándose a los ojos del observador sensible. Muere por la misma razón. Por lo tanto, es arriesgado enviarla al mundo. ¡Cuántas veces será perjudicada por los ojos del insensible y la crueldad del impotente!". También dijo: "No estoy interesado en la relación entre la forma y el color. Lo único que me importa es la expresión de las emociones básicas del hombre: tragedia, éxtasis, destino".

Biografía.
Rothko nació como Marcus Rothkowitz el 25 de septiembre de 1903 en Dvinsk, Rusia. Se fue a los Estados Unidos en 1913 con su familia, estableciéndose en Portland, Oregón.

Su padre murió enseguida después de que Marcus llegara a Portland y la familia trabajó para una empresa textil de un primo para que alcanzara el dinero. Marcus era un estudiante excelente y estuvo en contacto con las artes y la música durante estos años, aprendiendo a dibujar y a pintar y a tocar la mandolina y el piano. A medida que crecía, se interesó por las causas socialmente liberales y la política de izquierdas.



En septiembre de 1921 asistió a la Universidad de Yale, donde permaneció dos años. Estudió humanidades y ciencia, cofundó un periódico liberal y se mantuvo con trabajos ocasionales antes de dejar Yale en 1923 sin graduarse para dedicarse a la vida como artista. Se instaló en la ciudad de Nueva York en 1925 y se matriculó en la Arts Students League donde le impartió clases el artista, Max Weber, y Parsons School of Design, donde estudió con Arshile Gorky. Regresaba a Portland periódicamente para visitar a su familia y se unió a una compañía de actores una vez mientras estaba allí. Su amor por el teatro y la dramaturgia siguió desempeñando un papel importante en su vida y su arte. Pintó escenografías y dijo acerca de sus pinturas: "Pienso en mis cuadros como teatro, las formas en mis cuadros son los artistas".

Desde 1929 a 1952 Rothko dio clases de arte para niños en el Center Academy, Centro judío de Brookling. Le gustaba enseñar a los niños, sintiendo que sus respuestas puras, sin filtrar a su arte le ayudaban a captar la esencia de la emoción y darle forma en su obra.

Su primera exposición individual tuvo lugar en 1933 en la Contemporary Arts Gallery de Nueva York. En esta época sus pinturas consistían en paisajes, retratos y desnudos.

En 1935 Rothko se juntó con otros ocho artistas, entre ellos Adolph Gottlieb, para formar un grupo llamado The Ten (Los Diez) (aunque eran solamente nueve), que, influido por el Impresionismo, se constituyó en protesta contra el típico arte que se exponía en la época. The Ten se hizo más conocido por su exposición "The Ten: Whitney Dissenters" (Los Diez: los disidentes de Whitney), que fue abierta al público en las Mercury Galleries tres días antes de la apertura del Anual de Whitney. El propósito de su protesta estaba expuesto en la introducción del catálogo, que los describía como "experimentadores" y "encarecidamente individualistas" y explicaba que el propósito de su asociación era llamar la atención sobre el arte americano que no era ni literal, ni figurativo ni pintoresco y no era "solamente contemporáneo en un sentido estrictamente cronológico". Su misión era "protestar contra la reputada equivalencia entre la pintura americana y la pintura literal".

EN 1945 Rothko se casó por segunda vez. Con su segunda esposa, Mary Alice Beistle, tuvo dos hijos, Kathy Lynn en 1950 y Christopher en 1963.

Después de muchos años de oscuridad como artista, la década de 1950 trajo finalmente la aclamación para Rothko y en 1959 Rothko tuvo una gran exposición individual en el Museum of Modern Art de Nueva York. También estuvo trabajando en tres grandes encargos durante los años 1958 a 1969: murales pare el Holyoke Center en la Universidad de Harvard; pinturas monumentales para el restaurante Four Seasons y el edificio de Seagrams, ambos en Nueva York, y las pinturas para la Capilla de Rothko.

Rothko se suicidó a los 66 años en 1970. Algunos piensan que las pinturas oscuras y sombrías que hizo al final de su carrera, como las de la Capilla Rothko, presagiaban su suicidio, mientras que otros consideran esas obras como un abrirse del espíritu y una invitación a mayor conciencia espiritual.

La capilla Rothko.
En 1964 Rothko recibió un encargo de John y Dominique de Menial de crear un espacio meditativo para llenarlo con sus pinturas creadas específicamente para el espacio. LA Capilla Rothko, diseñada en colaboración con los arquitectos Philip Johnson, Howard Barnstone y Eugene Aubry fue completada finalmente en 1971, aunque Rothko murió en 1970, así que no llegó a ver el edificio final. Es un edificio de ladrillo con planta de octágono irregular que contiene catorce pinturas murales de Rothko. Las pinturas son rectángulos flotantes con la firma de Rothko, aunque tienen tonalidad oscura –siete lienzos con rectángulos negros marcados sobre un fondo bermellón y siete pinturas de tonalidades púrpura.

Es una capilla interconfesional visitada por gente de todos los lugares del mundo. Según la página web de La capilla de Rothko, "La capilla de Rothko es un espacio espiritual, un foro para líderes mundiales, un lugar para la soledad y el encuentro. Es un epicentro para activistas de los derechos civiles, una alteración tranquila, una quietud que conmueve. Es un destino para las 90,000 personas de todas las religiones que la visitan cada año desde todas las partes del mundo. Es el hogar del Premio Óscar Romero". La Capilla Rothko está en el Registro Nacional de Lugares Históricos.

Influencias en el arte de Rothko. Hubo varias influencias en el arte y el pensamiento de Rothko Cuando era estudiante a mediados y finales de la década de 1920, Rothko fue influido por Max Weber, Arshile Gorky y Milton Avery, de quienes aprendió formas muy diferentes de abordar la pintura. Weber le enseñó sobre el cubismo y la pintura no representativa; Gorky le enseñó sobre el surrealismo, la imaginación y las imágenes míticas; y Milton Avery, de quien fue muy amigo durante muchos años, le enseñó sobre el uso de capas finas de color suave para crear profundidad a través de la relacion de colores.

Al igual que muchos artistas, Rothko también admiró notablemente las pinturas del Renacimiento, su riqueza de matices y manifiesto resplandor interior logrado a través de la aplicación de múltiples capas finas de barnices de color.

Como hombre de conocimiento, otras influencias incluyen a Goya, Turner, los impresionistas, Matisse, Caspar Friedrich y otros.

Rothko también estudió a Friedrich Nietzsche, el filósofo alemán del siglo XIX, y leyó su libro, El nacimiento de la tragedia.

Incorporó en sus pinturas la filosofía de Nietzsche sobre la lucha entre lo dionisíaco y lo apolíneo.

Rothko también fue influido por Miguel Ángel, Rembrandt, Goya, Turner, los impresionistas, Caspar Friedrich, y Matisse, Manet, Cézanne, por nombrar algunos.

Década de 1940.
La década de 1940 fue una década importante para Rothko, en la que pasó por muchas transformaciones en el estilo, surgiendo de ella con las clásicas pinturas de campos de color que se asocian principalmente con él. De acuerdo con su hijo, Christopher Rothko en MARK ROTHKO, The Decisive Decade 1940-1950, Rothko tuvo cinco o seis estilos diferentes en esta década, siendo cada uno una consecuencia del precedente. Son: 1- Figurativo (1923-40); 2- Surrealista - Basado en mitos (1940-43); 3- Surrealista - Abstracto (1943-46); 4- Multiforme (1946-48); 5- De transición (1948-49); 6- Clásico/Campos de color(1949-70)".

En algún momento de 1940, Rothko hace su última pintura figurativa, luego experimenta con el surrealismo y finalmente elimina completamente cualquier sugerencia figurativa en sus pinturas, abstrayéndolas aún más y reduciéndolas a formas indeterminadas que flotan en campos de color: -Multiformes, como otros las llamaron- que estaban muy influenciadas por el estilo de pintura de Milton Avery. Las Multiformes son las primeras abstracciones verdaderas de Rothko, mientras que su paleta presagia la paleta de las pinturas de campos de color venideras. Aclara aún más su intención, eliminando formas, y comienza sus pinturas de campos de color en 1949, utilizando el color de manera todavía más expresiva para crear rectángulos flotantes monumentales y para comunicar la gama de emoción humana dentro de ellos.

Pinturas de campos de color.
Rothko es más conocido por sus pinturas de campos de color, que comenzó a pintar a finales de la década de 1940. Estas pinturas eran cuadros mucho más grandes, casi llenando una pared entera desde el suelo hasta el techo. En esas pinturas usaba la técnica de "soak-stain" (mancha de empapado), inicialmente desarrollada por Helen Frankenthaler. Aplicaría capas de pintura diluida en el lienzo para crear dos o tres rectángulos luminosos abstractos de cantos suavizados.

Rothko decía que sus pinturas eran grandes para hacer que el observador fuera parte de la experiencia en vez de estar separado de la pintura. De hecho, prefería que sus pinturas fueran mostradas juntas en una exposición para crear un mayor impacto al estar el observador contenido entre las pinturas o rodeado por ellas, en lugar de que estuvieran interrumpidas por otras obras de arte. Decía que las pinturas eran monumentales no para ser "grandiosas", sino de hecho, para ser más "íntimas y humanas". Según la Galería Phillips en Washington, DC, "Sus grandes lienzos, típicos de su estilo maduro, establecen una correspondencia uno a uno con el espectador, dando escala humana a la experiencia de la pintura e intensificando los efectos del color. Como resultado, las pinturas producen en el espectador receptivo un sensación de lo etéreo y un estado de contemplación espiritual. Solo a través del color, aplicado a rectángulos suspendidos dentro de composiciones abstractas, el trabajo de Rothko evoca emociones fuertes que van desde la exuberancia y el asombro a la desesperación y la ansiedad, sugeridas por la naturaleza indefinida y flotante de sus formas".

En 1960, la Galería Phillips construyó una sala especial dedicada a exponer la pintura de Mark Rothko, llamada La sala Rothko. Contiene cuatro cuadros del artista, un cuadro en cada pared de una habitación pequeña, dando al espacio una cualidad meditativa.

Rothko dejó de de poner títulos convencionales a sus obras a finales de la década de 1940, prefiriendo en cambio diferenciarlas por el color o el número. Tanto como escribió sobre arte a lo largo de su vida, en su libro, "The Artist's Reality: Philosophies on Art" (La realidad del artista: filosofías del arte), escrito sobre 1940-41, comenzó a dejar de explicar el significado de su trabajo con los campos de color, afirmando que "El silencio es tan preciso".

Lo que importa es la esencia de la relación entre el espectador y la pintura, no las palabras que la describen. Las pinturas de Mark Rothko tienen que ser experimentadas en persona para ser verdaderamente apreciadas.

www.thoughtco.com/mark-rothko-biography-4147374
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The Life and Art of Mark Rothko.
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by Lisa Marder Updated August 02, 2017.
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It dies by the same token.
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It is therefore risky to send it out into the world.
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Biography.
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Rothko was born Marcus Rothkowitz on September 25, 1903 in Dvinsk, Russia.
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He came to the United States in 1913 with his family, settling in Portland, Oregon.
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As he grew older he became interested in socially liberal causes and leftist politics.
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In September 1921 he attended Yale University, where he stayed for two years.
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His love of theater and drama continued to play an important role in his life and art.
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From 1929-1952 Rothko taught children art at the Center Academy, Brooklyn Jewish Center.
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His first one-person show was in 1933 at the Contemporary Arts Gallery in New York.
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At the time, his paintings consisted of landscapes, portraits, and nudes.
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In 1945 Rothko married for the second time.
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Rothko committed suicide at the age of 66 in 1970.
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The Rothko Chapel.
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It is an irregular octagonal brick building that holds fourteen of Rothko's mural paintings.
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It is an interfaith chapel that people visit from all over the world.
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It’s an epicenter for civil rights activists, a quiet disruption, a stillness that moves.
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It is the home of the Óscar Romero Award."
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The Rothko Chapel is on the National Register of Historic Places.
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Influences on Rothko's Art There were a number of influences on Rothko's art and thought.
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1940s.
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Color Field Paintings.
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Rothko is most well-known for his color field paintings, which he began painting in the late 1940s.
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These paintings were much larger paintings, almost filling up an entire wall from floor to ceiling.
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In these paintings he used the soak-stain technique, initially developed by Helen Frankenthaler.
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Mark Rothko's paintings have to be experienced in person to be truly appreciated.
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www.thoughtco.com/mark-rothko-biography-4147374
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The Life and Art of Mark Rothko.

by Lisa Marder
Updated August 02, 2017.

Mark Rothko (1903-1970) was one of the most well-known members of the Abstract Expressionist movement, known primarily for his color-field paintings. His famous signature large-scale color-field paintings, consisting solely of large rectangular blocks of floating, pulsing color, engulf, connect with, and transport the viewer to another realm, another dimension, freeing the spirit from the confines of everyday stress.

These paintings often glow from within and seem almost alive, breathing, interacting with the viewer in silent dialogue, creating a sense of the sacred in the interaction, reminiscent of the I-Thou relationship described by renowned theologian Martin Buber.

About the relationship of his work to the viewer Rothko said, “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.” He also said, 'I am not interested in the relationship between form and colour. The only thing I care about is the expression of man's basic emotions: tragedy, ecstasy, destiny.

Biography.
Rothko was born Marcus Rothkowitz on September 25, 1903 in Dvinsk, Russia. He came to the United States in 1913 with his family, settling in Portland, Oregon.

His father died soon after Marcus arrived in Portland and the family worked for a cousins' clothing company to make ends meet. Marcus was an excellent student, and was exposed to the arts and music during these years, learning to draw and paint, and to play the mandolin and piano. As he grew older he became interested in socially liberal causes and leftist politics.

In September 1921 he attended Yale University, where he stayed for two years. He studied liberal arts and science, cofounded a liberal daily newspaper, and supported himself with odd jobs before leaving Yale in 1923 without graduating to commit himself to life as an artist. He settled in New York City in 1925 and enrolled at the Arts Students League where he was taught by the artist, Max Weber, and Parsons School of Design where he studied under Arshile Gorky. He returned to Portland periodically to visit his family and joined an acting company while there one time. His love of theater and drama continued to play an important role in his life and art. He painted stage sets, and said about about his paintings, "I think of my pictures as drama; the shapes in my pictures are the performers."

From 1929-1952 Rothko taught children art at the Center Academy, Brooklyn Jewish Center. He liked teaching children, feeling that their pure unfiltered responses to their art helped him to capture the essence of emotion and form in his own work.

His first one-person show was in 1933 at the Contemporary Arts Gallery in New York. At the time, his paintings consisted of landscapes, portraits, and nudes.

In 1935 Rothko joined with eight other artists, including Adolph Gottlieb, to form a group called The Ten (although there were only nine), who, influenced by Impressionism, formed in protest to the art that was typically being exhibited at the time. The Ten became most well-known for their exhibit,"The Ten: Whitney Dissenters," which opened at the Mercury Galleries three days after the opening of the Whitney Annual. The purpose of their protest was stated in the introduction to the catalogue, which described them as "experimenters" and "strongly individualistic" and explained that the purpose of their association was to call attention to American art that was not literal, not representational and preoccupied with local color, and not "contemporary only in the strictly chronological sense." Their mission was "to protest against the reputed equivalence of American painting and literal painting."

In 1945 Rothko married for the second time. With his second wife, Mary Alice Beistle, he had two children, Kathy Lynn in 1950, and Christopher in 1963.

After many years of obscurity as an artist, the 1950s finally brought Rothko acclaim and in 1959 Rothko had a major one-man exhibit in New York at the Museum of Modern Art. He was also working on three major commissions during the years 1958 to 1969: murals for the Holyoke Center at Harvard University; monumental paintings for the Four Seasons Restaurant and Seagrams Building, both in New York; and paintings for the Rothko Chapel.

Rothko committed suicide at the age of 66 in 1970. Some think that the dark and somber paintings that he did late in his career, such as those for the Rothko Chapel, foreshadow his suicide, whereas others consider those works an opening up of the spirit and an invitation into greater spiritual awareness.

The Rothko Chapel.
Rothko was commissioned in 1964 by John and Dominique de Menial to create a meditative space filled with his paintings created specifically for the space. The Rothko Chapel, designed in collaboration with architects Philip Johnson, Howard Barnstone, and Eugene Aubry, was ultimately completed in 1971, although Rothko died in 1970 so did not see the final building. It is an irregular octagonal brick building that holds fourteen of Rothko's mural paintings. The paintings are Rothko's signature floating rectangles, although they are darkly hued - seven canvases with hard-edged black rectangles on maroon ground, and seven purple tonal paintings.

It is an interfaith chapel that people visit from all over the world. According to The Rothko Chapel website,"The Rothko Chapel is a spiritual space, a forum for world leaders, a place for solitude and gathering. It’s an epicenter for civil rights activists, a quiet disruption, a stillness that moves. It’s a destination for the 90,000 people of all faiths who visit each year from all parts of the world. It is the home of the Óscar Romero Award." The Rothko Chapel is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Influences on Rothko's Art
There were a number of influences on Rothko's art and thought. As a student in the mid to late 1920s Rothko was influenced by Max Weber, Arshile Gorky, and Milton Avery, from whom he learned very different ways of approaching painting. Weber taught him about Cubism and non-representational painting; Gorky taught him about Surrealism, the imagination, and mythic imagery; and Milton Avery, with whom he was good friends for many years, taught him about using thin layers of flat color to create depth through color relationships.

Like many artists, Rothko also greatly admired Renaissance paintings and their richness of hue and apparent inner glow achieved through the application of multiple layers of thin glazes of color.

As a man of learning, other influences included Goya, Turner, the Impressionists, Matisse, Caspar Friedrich, and others.

Rothko also studied Friedrich Nietzsche, the 19th century German philosopher, and read his book, The Birth of Tragedy.

He incorporated in his paintings Nietzsche's philosophy of the struggle between the Dionysian and Apollonian.

Rothko was also influenced by Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Goya, Turner, the Impressionists, Caspar Friedrich, and Matisse, Manet, Cezanne, to name but a few.

1940s.
The 1940s was an important decade for Rothko, one in which he went through many transformations in style, emerging from it with the classic colorfield paintings that are primarily associated with him. According to his son, Christopher Rothko in MARK ROTHKO, The Decisive Decade 1940-1950, Rothko had five or six different styles in this decade, each one an outgrowth of the preceding one. They are: 1- Figurative (1923-40); 2- Surrealist - Myth-based (1940-43); 3- Surrealist - Abstracted (1943-46); 4- Multiform (1946-48); 5- Transitional (1948-49); 6- Classic/Colorfield (1949-70)."

Sometime in 1940 Rothko makes his last figurative painting, then experiments with Surrealism, and eventually does away entirely with any figural suggestion in his paintings, abstracting them further and paring them down to indeterminate shapes floating in fields of color - Multiforms as they were called by others - which were greatly influenced by Milton Avery's style of painting. The Multiforms are Rothko's first true abstractions, while their palette foreshadows the palette of the color field paintings to come. He clarifies his intention further, eliminating shapes, and begins his color field paintings in 1949, using color even more expressively to create monumental floating rectangles and to communicate the range of human emotion within them.

Color Field Paintings.
Rothko is most well-known for his color field paintings, which he began painting in the late 1940s. These paintings were much larger paintings, almost filling up an entire wall from floor to ceiling. In these paintings he used the soak-stain technique, initially developed by Helen Frankenthaler. He would apply layers of thinned paint onto the canvas to create two or three luminous abstract soft-edged rectangles.

Rothko said that his paintings were large in order to make the viewer part of the experience rather than separate from the painting. In fact, he preferred to have his paintings shown together in an exhibit in order to create a greater impact of being contained or enveloped by the paintings, rather than broken up by other artworks. He said that the paintings were monumentalnot to be "grandiose", but in fact, to be more "intimate and human." According to the Phillips Gallery in Washington, D C, "His large canvases, typical of his mature style, establish a one-on-one correspondence with the viewer, giving human scale to the experience of the painting and intensifying the effects of color. As a result, the paintings produce in the responsive viewer a sense of the ethereal and a state of spiritual contemplation. Through color alone—applied to suspended rectangles within abstract compositions—Rothko's work evokes strong emotions ranging from exuberance and awe to despair and anxiety, suggested by the hovering and indeterminate nature of his forms."

In 1960 the Phillips Gallery built a special room dedicated to displaying Mark Rothko's painting, called The Rothko Room. It contains four paintings by the artist, one painting on each wall of a small room, giving the space a meditative quality.

Rothko stopped giving his works conventional titlesin the late 1940s, preferring instead to differentiate them by color or number. As much as he wrote about art during his lifetime, as in his book, The Artist's Reality: Philosophies on Art, written about 1940-41, he began to stop explaining the meaning of his work with his color field paintings, claiming that "Silence is so accurate."

It is the essence of the relationship between the viewer and the painting that is important, not the words that describe it. Mark Rothko's paintings have to be experienced in person to be truly appreciated.

www.thoughtco.com/mark-rothko-biography-4147374