Art History

Artist Series: Mark Rothko – Making an Impression

Mark Rothko paintings were heavily influenced by Impressionism. Mark Rothko, born Marcus Rothkovitz in Russia in 1903, immigrated with his family to Portland Oregon when very young. He attended Yale for two years, and then studied the art, which was later to result in famous Rothko paintings. Lessons in painting came from Art Weber in New York City’s Art Students League. The first public presentation of Rothko paintings was at Opportunities Galleries in 1928 in New York City.

The first solo showing of Rothko paintings was back in Portland Oregon, his home, at the Portland Art Museum in 1933. He later returned to New York for a solo gallery show that same year. Rothko paintings had definitely arrived.

Mark Rothko, unique style has broad color fields to denote moods and places. Similar to Vincent Van Gogh, Henri Matisse, and Joan Miro, Rothko developed this unique style engaging color and passion yet intentionally without any human representation.

Rothko took his own life on February 25, 1970, in his New York studio.

Today, Rothko is considered among the great pioneers of American postwar art and, as one of the major representatives of Abstract Expressionism.

About the Author

Amitai Sasson of is an art world traveler on a mission to seek out the beauty and passion of the art world. As an avid enthusiast of art and oil paintings, he contributes to as Chief editor and writer.