description of Untitled by Mark Rothko

This abstract oil painting, which measures four feet tall and three-and-a-third feet wide, features blooms of mustard yellow, pumpkin orange, black, pink, red, and cream-colored paints. The top edge of the canvas features a ragged black line against an off-white background. Below it, also in black, are two round blotches – the left one slightly larger than the right. The top half of the larger blotch on the left is surrounded by orange and red brushstrokes, while the right blotch is dabbed in the center with white. Dominating the center of the canvas is an uneven, upside-down U shape rendered in black. A vein of muddy orange runs through it in a zigzagging line. Below the black arch, at the horizontal center of the painting, are three concentrations of pink in a vertical row, each punctuated by brushy dabs of bright red. Much of the area below the black arch shape is covered in washy white and pink brushstrokes until we reach the bottom, which is defined by an uneven line of orange and maroon brushstrokes. Much of the thin, scratchy paint appears to have been applied with a dry brush, such that hints of the raw canvas show through.

Mark Rothko, Untitled, 1947
Mark Rothko, Untitled, 1947; acrylic and oil on canvas, 48 1/8 in. x 40 1/8 in. (122.24 cm x 101.92 cm); Collection SFMOMA, Gift of The Mark Rothko Foundation, Inc.; © 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Artwork Info

Artwork title
Untitled
Artist name
Mark Rothko
Date created
1947
Classification
painting
Medium
acrylic and oil on canvas
Dimensions
48 1/8 in. x 40 1/8 in. (122.24 cm x 101.92 cm)
Date acquired
1985
Credit
Collection SFMOMA
Gift of The Mark Rothko Foundation, Inc.
Copyright
© 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Permanent URL
https://www.sfmoma.org/artwork/85.398
Artwork status
On view on floor 2 as part of Open Ended: Painting and Sculpture Since 1900

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 collections@sfmoma.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 collections@sfmoma.org 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 copyright@sfmoma.org.

This resource is for educational use and its contents may not be reproduced without permission. Please review our Terms of Use for more information.