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Abstract Expressionist: Mark Rothko

Updated on November 12, 2015

Why Mark Rothko?

I have discovered who Mark Rothko was when I was creating "about me" post. What could I tell Hubpages readers about me? I want to come up with something nice and original, so I searched for famous people from Daugavpils, Latvia (formerly USSR) and I have discovered that Mark Rothko is from my hometown. Yay!

I can't believe it! Rothko is from Daugavpils. I knew and studied about his artwork, but somehow I skipped his life story.

Last month, I went on holidays to Latvia (currently living in Ireland) and was amazed to hear that my city is going to have own "Mark Rothko Art Centre". Great news indeed!

So who is Mark Rothko?

Fact 1

Mark Rothko's "Orange, Red, Yellow" is the most expensive contemporary art at $87 million.

Mark Rothko - and his biography

Mark Rothko
Mark Rothko

- Mark Rothko was an American painter of Jewish Latvian descent.

- Hometown: Daugavpils now (Dvinsk), Latvia (then Russian Empire)

- Born on September 25, 1903 - Died on February 25, 1970.

- Considered to be one of the most famous of postwar American artists.

- Emigrated from Russia (Latvia now) to the U.S. when was 10 years old.

- Rothko's early paintings were quite realistic and showed some recognizable objects such as people, buildings, and landscapes.

- Later were interested in mythology and his works were similar to to Surrealist paintings.

- His best-known works, a number of which are on very large canvases, involve the placement of large areas of melting colors.

I'm not an abstractionist

"I'm not an abstractionist. I'm not interested in the relationship of color or form or anything else. I'm interested only in expressing basic human emotions: tragedy, ecstasy, doom, and so on."

Mark Rothko

Mini Gallery - paintings by Rothko

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Mark Rothko, Four Darks in Red (1958)Photo by http://www.guardian.co.ukWhite Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose)From en.wikipedia.orgNo. 61 (Rust and Blue)from WikiMark Rothko, Black on Maroon Sketch for "Mural No.6" (1958)Orange, Red, Yellow (1961). Sold at Christies for $86,882,500
Mark Rothko, Four Darks in Red (1958)Photo by http://www.guardian.co.uk
Mark Rothko, Four Darks in Red (1958) Photo by http://www.guardian.co.uk
White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose)From en.wikipedia.org
White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose) From en.wikipedia.org
No. 61 (Rust and Blue)from Wiki
No. 61 (Rust and Blue) from Wiki
Mark Rothko, Black on Maroon Sketch for "Mural No.6" (1958)
Mark Rothko, Black on Maroon Sketch for "Mural No.6" (1958)
Orange, Red, Yellow (1961). Sold at Christies for $86,882,500
Orange, Red, Yellow (1961). Sold at Christies for $86,882,500

Fact 2

All 836 paintings have been catalogued by art historian David Anfam in his book Mark Rothko: The Works on Canvas

Mark Rothko Art Centre (shot by A.Pimenov)

Mark Rothko Art Centre (shot by A.Pimenov)
Mark Rothko Art Centre (shot by A.Pimenov)

News from Rothko's hometown

Mark Rothko Art Centre opened it's doors on April 24th, 2013. It will be the only one place in Eastern Europe where will be possible to see the original works of Mark Rothko.

Art centre is located in Daugavpils, Latvia on the grounds of old Daugavpils fortress. Visitors can see original paintings of Rothko given by his family for a period of 6 years. You can visit Rothko Silent Room, video hall, cultural and historical expositions. Center will also have a living quarters for artist and space to exhibit their own work.

Fact 3

Rothko died by suicide on February 25, 1970 by taking antidepressants and slashing his arms.

His paintings are so simple.... Do you think he is an art genius?

Do you own any of Rothko's art pieces?

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