Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
His work concentrated on basic emotions, often filling the canvas with very few, but intense colours, using little immediately-apparent detail. In this respect, he can also be considered to presage the color field painters (see Helen Frankenthaler). Although respected by other artists, Rothko remained in relative obscurity until 1960, supporting himself by teaching art. In 1958, Rothko was commissioned by architect Philip Johnson to paint a series of murals for the Four Seasons restaurant in the Seagram Building in New York. This substancial project was completed in late 1959. Ultimately, Rothko was not happy having his paintings as the backdrop to gourmet dining so gave a set of nine of the maroon and black works to the Tate Gallery, where they are on permanent display in an installation designed by Rothko. In 1967, Rothko again collaborated with Johnson on a church in Houston, Texas, contributing fourteen related works in an installation setting. The church has subsequently become known as "The Rothko Chapel". Numerous other works can be found scattered in museums throughout the world.
After a long struggle with depression, Rothko committed suicide by cutting his wrists in his New York studio on February 25, 1970. Following his death the settlement of the Rothko estate became the subject of a famous court case (see Rothko Case).
- National Galley of Art - features a Rothko timeline, with biography and numerous photographs of his work
- Rothko collection on Guggenheim NY site
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