Mark Rothko
Untitled 1969

Artwork details

Mark Rothko 1903–1970
Date 1969
Medium Acrylic paint on paper
Dimensions Support: 1730 x 1235 mm
Acquisition Presented by the Mark Rothko Foundation 1986
Not on display

Display caption

This is one of a group of paintings on paper which Rothko made after a period of illness in 1968, when he was too weak to work on his customary large-scale canvases. Despite his poor health, he apparently painted these works with great energy, moving his whole body, not just his wrist. His sweeping brushstrokes are clearly visible in the two rectangles of colour which make up this painting. It has been said that Rothko placed the darker colour at the top of the painting in order to prevent it being read as landscape, a reference which he wished to avoid. The white border, which was left by the tape Rothko used to fix the paper to a board when painting, was for him an integral part of the work.

September 2004

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