Mark Rothko's iconic paintings are some of the most profound works of twentieth-century Abstract Expressionism. This collection presents fifty large-scale artworks from the American master's colour field period (1949-1970) alongside essays by seminal modern art critic and Rothko biographer Dore Ashton and SFMOMA curator of painting and sculpture Janet Bishop. Featuring illuminating details about Rothko's life, influences, and legacy, and brimming with the emotional power and expressive colour of his groundbreaking canvases, this essential volume brings the renowned artist's luminous work to light for both longtime Rothko fans and those discovering his work for the very first time.
Mark Rothko (1903-1970) was one of the foremost members of the Abstract Expressionist movement. He is known for his colour field paintings, which used staining techniques to create abstract fields of colour on large canvases. Rothko was a guest instructor at the California School of Fine Arts, San Francisco, and taught at Brooklyn College; the University of colourado, Boulder; and Tulane University. From 1958 to 1969, he worked on three major commissions: monumental canvases for the Four Seasons Restaurant and Seagram Building, both in New York; murals for the Holyoke Center, Harvard University; and canvases for the chapel at the Institute of Religion and Human Development, Houston, known worldwide as "The Rothko Chapel." His work is held in gallery and museum collections worldwide. Janet Bishop is the Thomas Weisel Family Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. While the museum underwent expansion construction, she oversaw "SFMOMA on the Go," an innovative program of exhibitions presented throughout the Bay Area and beyond. She is best known for her curatorial work on Matisse/Diebenkorn; The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde; and Robert Bechtle: A Retrospective. Dore Ashton is an award-winning critic of modern and contemporary art. An authority on Abstract Expressionism and the New York School of the 1950s and 1960s, she is the author and editor of more than 30 books, including About Rothko, a celebrated biography of Mark Rothko. Ashton is a professor of Art History at the Cooper Union in New York City.