1903, Dvinsk, Russia [now Daugavpils 1970, New York, New York
Mark Rothko was born Marcus Rothkowitz; his family emigrated in 1913 and settled in Portland, Oregon. Rothko attended Yale for two years and moved to New York in 1923.
After a long period of stylistic experimentation, Rothko was prompted toward abstraction by the arrival of European avant-gardists during World War II. His mature works consist of two or three diffuse rectangles of saturated color. Their effect is one of luminosity and floating in an indefinable space. Rothko often worked on a large scale, seeking to envelop the viewer in an experience of intimacy and spiritual transcendence.
In 1964, he began his paintings for the Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas. In 1970, after battling depression, alcoholism, and poor health, Rothko committed suicide in his studio. The chapel was completed the following year.
Please note that artwork locations are subject to change, and not all works are on view at all times. If you are planning a visit to SFMOMA to see a specific work of art, we suggest you contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm it will be on view.
Only a portion of SFMOMA's collection is currently online, and the information presented here is subject to revision. Please contact us at email@example.com to verify collection holdings and artwork information. If you are interested in receiving a high resolution image of an artwork for educational, scholarly, or publication purposes, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.