• 1
  • 2
  • A
  • B
  • C
  • D
  • E
  • F
  • G
  • H
  • I
  • K
  • M
  • N
  • P
  • Q
  • R
  • S
  • T
  • U
  • V
  • К
  • М
  • С

























eng Automatic Translation

Mark Rothko (Marcus Rothkowitz)

1903 – 1970

Artist, painter.

Editor's note: Mark Rothko was born on the territory of modern Latvia (then in Dvinsk, the Vitebsk province of the Russian Empire), but his figure had a great influence on Belarusian culture, and therefore he is included in the encyclopedia.

The artist is classified as an abstractionist, but he himself did not agree with this. The artist was only concerned with the emotions that the viewer received in the process of meeting with the work. His canvases occupied several meters in height and length, forcing the master to become, as it were, part of the work when it was created. He expected the same effect from the viewer, who had to be completely immersed in the contemplation of a particular canvas. Since the surrounding space, according to the artist, had a great influence on the public, Rothko himself often participated in the design of the premises for his paintings. The most grandiose project in this regard was the Rothko Chapel, a spiritual temple for people of all religions. The master painted canvases for her for three years.

Rothko believed that the modernist, like a child or a person of a primitive culture, should ideally express in his work the inner sense of form without the intervention of the mind. It should be a physical and emotional experience, not an intellectual one. Rothko began to use color fields in his watercolors and urban landscapes, it was then that the subject and form in his works began to lose their meaning. In many of his works, he consciously sought to imitate children's drawings.

Lived and worked in the USA.


Selected artworks

Associated institutions

Selected dates:

September 25, 1903

Born in Dvinsk ( Vitebsk province of the Russian Empire, today Daugavpils, Latvia).


Together with his family he emigrated to the USA .


Studying at Yale University .


While visiting a friend at an art school in New York, I saw how the artists were drawing a model. As Rothko himself later said, at that moment he was "born as an artist." He began taking lessons from George Bridgman at the Art Students League of New York. Some time later, he entered the "New School of Design" in New York, where among his teachers was one of the founders of "abstract surrealism" Arshile Gorky.


He exhibited his work for the first time at the Opportunity Gallery . Dark expressive canvases were shown - images of interiors and city sketches.


Rothko worked part time drawing maps for biblical history books by writer Lewis Brown.


He taught painting and sculpture at the Central Academy of the Brooklyn Jewish Center.


He had his first solo exhibition at the Portland Museum of Art , featuring drawings and watercolors.


He held his first solo exhibition on the East Coast at the Gallery of Modern Art.


Joined Ilya Bolotovsky, Ben-Zion, Adolf Gottlieb, Lou Harris, Ralph Rosenborg, Louis Shanker and Joseph Solman to form the Whitney Ten Dissenters. According to the gallery's exhibition catalogue, the group's mission was "to protest the identification of American painting with the literal."


In the works of the artist, the craving for non-objectivity is increasingly manifested, he gradually refuses to designate the plots of paintings, naming them according to the years of creation and giving them numbers. Rothko's painting quickly evolved from dreamy semi-abstract compositions based on scenes from Greek tragedies to absolutely non-objective forms .


He began to paint abstract paintings , where large rectangles were arranged parallel to each other, usually vertically. These strange canvases created a feeling of peace and concentration, expressing the most understandable and at the same time complex categories - tragedy, fate, death.


The master simplified the structure of his paintings to two, sometimes three zones of bright pure color. From the late 1950s, Rothko was mainly engaged in the creation of monumental compositions to decorate buildings.

February 25, 1970

Committed suicide by cutting his wrists in his studio in New York. Buried in Kensico Cemetery.

  • -

  • The artist about his practice:

  • "I insist on the equal existence of the world generated by the mind and the world generated by God outside it. If I am confused in the use of familiar objects, it is because I refuse to disfigure their appearance for the sake of an action for which they are too old to serve or for which perhaps they were never intended I quarrel with the surrealists and abstractionists only as a man quarrels with his father and mother; acknowledging the inevitability and purpose of my roots, but insisting on my disagreement; I am one with them, but also completely independent of them ".

  • "The tragic experience of catharsis is the only source of any art ... I'm not interested in the relationship of color and form or something like that. I'm only interested in the expression of basic human emotions - tragedy, ecstasy, despair."

    "Among artists, it is widely believed that it does not matter what you draw, the main thing is that it is well drawn. This is the essence of academicism. There is no good picture about anything. We argue that only the subject that is tragic and timeless is valuable. That is why we profess a spiritual kinship with primitive and archaic art."

  • "The picture lives through friendly communication, expanding and reviving under the gaze of a receptive viewer. And it dies in the same way ..."