Catalogue entry

Mark Rothko 1903-1970

T01163 Black on Maroon 1959

Inscribed 'MARK ROTHKO | 1959' on back of canvas (in reverse direction to the arrows indicating the top)
Oil on canvas, 105 x 180 (266.5 x 457)
Presented by the artist through the American Federation of Arts 1969
Exh: Mark Rothko, Museum of Modern Art, New York, January-March 1961 (works not numbered, repr. as 'Mural, Section 3, 1959'); Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, October-November 1961 (40, repr.); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, November-December 1961 (40); Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, January 1962 (40); Kunsthalle, Basle, March-April 1962 (41); Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, Rome, April-May 1962 (41, repr.); Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, December 1962-January 1963 (36)

See the note on T01031. This picture was included in Rothko's retrospective exhibition as 'Mural, Section 3' and was reproduced in the catalogues the other way up (the same way as the signature). The direction of the paint dribbles confirms that it was executed that way up, at least in part. However, the arrows indicating the top point in the reverse direction, so he seems to have later changed his mind.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.662, reproduced p.662