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Orange and Yellow

Mark Rothko (American, born Daugavpils, Russia (now Latvia), 1903-1970). Orange and Yellow, 1956. Oil on canvas, 91 x 71 inches (231.2 x 180.4 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1956 (K1956:8). © Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

© Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

Mark Rothko

American, born Daugavpils, Russia (now Latvia), 1903-1970

Orange and Yellow, 1956

oil on canvas

support: 91 x 71 inches (231.14 x 180.34 cm); framed: 93 1/2 x 73 1/2 x 3 inches (237.49 x 186.69 x 7.62 cm)

Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York

Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1956

K1956:8

More Details

Inscriptions

signature, dated / back, upper left / TOP / MARK ROTHKO / 1956

Provenance

Sidney Janis Gallery, New York;
sold to the Albright Art Gallery, March 13, 1956

Class

Paintings (visual works)

Work Type

Oil painting (visual work)

This information may change due to ongoing research. Glossary of Terms

At the end of the 1940s, following years of experimentation, Mark Rothko’s paintings became increasingly abstract. During this same time, his signature style also emerged: two or three rectangles set on a background that simultaneously divides them from one another while uniting them compositionally. However, the edges of Rothko’s forms are never distinct, which allows the eye to move seamlessly from one area to the next. He did not want viewers to think about him while experiencing his paintings, and he tried to remove evidence of the creative process. For example, he applied thin layers of paint with a brush or rag to an unprepared canvas, which allowed the pigment to soak in and become part of the surface. This layered wash of color achieved the effect of luminescence. Additionally, Rothko wanted to express emotion through his palette, which he saw as a door into another reality. As he explained, “The people who weep before my pictures are having the same religious experience I had when I painted them.”

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