Friday 23 July 2010

Mark Rothko

One of my favourite painters is the abstract expressionist Mark Rothko. I love the big bold interpretation of colour and the way the paint is applied. Born in Dvinsk, Russia (now Daugavpils, Latvia) in 1903 Rothko moved with his family to Portland, Oregon in 1913. His painting education was brief - he moved to New York to study under the artist Max Weber and then struck out on his own.

Rothko is known for his abstract expressionism paintings, but he moved through more traditional styles in his early career, including Surrealist paintings in the 1940s. In 1947 he embarked on the first of his large abstract 'colour-field' paintings, formalising their structure further in the 1950s.
Rothko had huge success with large-scale solo shows, but committed suicide in 1970. Rothko’s assistant, found the artist in his kitchen, lying dead on the floor in front of the sink, covered in blood. He had sliced his arms with a razor found lying at his side. During autopsy it was discovered he had also overdosed on anti-depressants. He was 66 years old.