Marc Rothko

67 Years

Background History

Marc Rothko was born September 25, 1903 to his parents Jacob and Anna Goldin Rothkowitz in Dvinsk, Russia. When Marcus was only seven years old, his father emigrated to Portland, Oregon to begin working for his uncle Samuel Weinstein -Jacob Rothkowitz's brother- in the clothing buisness. After two years, he sent for both of Marc's older brothers, Albert and Moise, to come to to America as well. The year after that the rest of the family came, including Marc, his mother, and his sister Sonia in 1913, when Marc was ten. Seven months later, Jacob died and the kids had to work to help support the family.

Marcus excelled in high school and finished in only three years, working also to deliver groceries and sell newspapers after this classes. He went to Yale university for college, but not until he had moved to New York in 1924 and "wandered" into an art class in the Art Students League when searching for a friend did he decide to become an artist.

The Abstract Expressionism Movement

Marc was a leading exponent in a more meditative and personal strain of the Abstract Expressionism Movement, and was involved in it for roughly twenty-five years up to his death on February 25, 1970. He used his heritage, and a great deal of Greek Mythology to influence his works. His signature art came about in the 1950's as paintings of soft, rectangular forms floating on a stained feild of color. He was able to thread powerful emotions into his works, which changed gradually from realism to abstract as time wore on, but they all held the same message that art had total freedom of expression.

Black on Grey

This is my favorite work by Marc Rothko from what I could find. Though honestly I thought this kind of art was below me to begin with -it looks so simple- I learned through this project that art is portrayed in many other ways besides physical images. To me, even though grey is just black with white mixed in, this painting represents the boundaries between light and dark, knowledge and ignorance, solid and intangigble. You can take this painting in an infinite number of ways, and that is just how creativity works.