Rothko, Mark Biography
Mark Rothko was born Marcus Rothkowitz on September 25, 1903, in Dvinsk,
Russia. In 1913, Rothko left Russia and settled with the rest of his family in
Portland, Oregon. Rothko attended Yale University, New Haven, on a scholarship
from 1921 to 1923. That year, he left Yale without receiving a degree and moved
to New York. In 1925, Rothko studied under Max Weber at the Art Students League.
He participated in his first group exhibition at the Opportunity Galleries, New
York, in 1928. During the early 1930s, Rothko became a close friend of Milton
Avery and Adolph Gottlieb. His first solo show took place at the Portland Art
Museum in 1933.
Rothko’s first solo exhibition in New York was held at the Contemporary Arts
Gallery in 1933. In 1935, he was a founding member of the Ten, a group of
artists sympathetic to abstraction and Expressionism . By 1936, Rothko knew
Barnett Newman. In the early 1940s, he worked closely with Gottlieb, developing
a painting style with mythological content, simple flat shapes, and imagery
inspired by primitive art. By mid-decade, his work incorporated Surrealist
techniques and images. Peggy Guggenheim gave Rothko a solo show at Art of This
Century in New York in 1945.
Rothko’s famous oil paintings include:
- Number 203
- Blackish Green Tone on Blue
- Orange and Yellow
- Brown, Black on Maroon