Mark Rothko 1903-1970
also named Magenta, Black, Green on Orange
Completion Date: 1949
Gallery: Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA
This work follows a compositional structure that Rothko explored for twenty_three years beginning in 1947. Narrowly separated, rectangular blocks of color hover in a column against a colored ground. Their edges are soft and irregular, so that when Rothko uses closely related tones, the rectangles sometimes seem barely to coalesce out of the ground, concentrations of its substance.

The sense of boundlessness in Rothko's paintings has been related to the aesthetics of the sublime, an implicit or explicit concern of a number of his fellow painters in the New York School. In fact, the remarkable color in his paintings was for him only a means to a larger end: "I'm interested only in expressing basic human emotions-tragedy, ecstasy, doom," he said. "If you... are moved only by... color relationships, then you miss the point."
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