Mark Rothko is an American painter of the 20th century from a Russian family, who became famous as a painter of the color field. For almost 50 years of his creative activity, Mark Rothko painted pictures in different styles, but as a result of searching and under the influence of events that took place in the world during his lifetime, he created his own unique style. Today, Rothko is considered one of the most prominent representatives of abstract expressionism.
Biography of Mark Rothko
Marcus’ father, Jacob, was a pharmacist. As an educated man, he strove to give children the best possible education, while emphasizing economics and politics. It is believed that it was then that Mark’s complex relationship with the world of capital was formed, which the artist will have to face in the future.
Mark Rothko moved to the USA with his father in 1913. The decision to move was made by his father – he was afraid that his son would be taken into the tsarist army. A little later, Marcus’ mother and sister moved in. The family was reunited, but the unity did not last long – a few months later, Marcus’ father died of cancer. This event undoubtedly had an impact on the sensitive nature of the future artist, which was reflected in his paintings.
Studying at school was easy for Marcus – he was helped by the intellectual preparation that his father provided him. After graduating from school with honors, he received a grant to Yale University. Enrolling there in 1921, the future artist studied natural and exact sciences, philosophy, economics and sociology. A year later, the money received as part of the grant ran out – and with this, the student’s countless ordeals began.
Whomever Rothko worked – both as a waiter and a messenger, and all in order to raise funds to pay for his studies. This period, however, did not last long. In 1923 Markus dropped out of school. Visiting his friend at the Artists’ League of New York, Rothko found him creating a painting from nature. For Marcus, this was the impetus – this is how his formation as an artist began.
Young Rotkovich painted in different styles, first in a realistic spirit, a little later in the style of European surrealism. Many of his paintings were inspired by ancient myths.
In 1940, Markus Rotkovich, fearing the anti-Semitic sentiments that prevailed at that time, played it safe and changed his name to a shorter one – Mark Rothko. 1947 became a landmark in the fate of the artist – he found his own style. Rothko completely abandoned the depiction of the details of the surrounding life “as they are” and began to paint in the style of abstract expressionism.
In the 50s and 60s of the XX century, Mark Rothko decorated famous buildings – in particular, the building of Harvard University. In 1961, a personal exhibition of the artist was held, which was organized by the New York Museum of Modern Art. Rothko completely abandoned natural lighting in his studio, and since then, paintings with depressing shades have come out from under his brush – gray, purple, brown.
Rothko married twice: firstly to jewelry designer Edith Sachar, and secondly to middle-class Protestant Mary Alice Beistle, who was 19 years his junior. From two marriages, the artist had two children – a daughter and a son.
The first works as a cardiologist, the second became a psychologist and wrote many books on his father’s work. Mark Rothko himself, alas, could not overcome the depression that had seized him. On February 25, 1970, his assistant, having come to the gloomy studio of the artist, found Rothko dead – Mark had cut his veins. The artist was buried at East Marion Cemetery in New York State.