One of the preeminent artists of his generation, Mark Rothko is closely identified with the New York School, a circle of painters that emerged during the 1940s as a new collective voice in American art. During a career that spanned five decades, he created a new and impassioned form of abstract painting.
Rothko, usually classifeid as an abstract expressionist, rejected the label as he was more concerned with the investigation of meaning through his art "“I'm not an abstractionist,” he once said. “I'm interested only in expressing basic human emotions: tragedy, ecstasy, doom, and so on.” Mark Rothko’s search to express profound emotion through painting culminated in his now-signature compositions of richly colored squares filling large canvases, evoking what he referred to as “the sublime." One of the pioneers of Color Field Painting, Rothko’s abstract arrangements of shapes, ranging from the slightly surreal biomorphic ones in his early works to the dark squares and rectangles in later years, are intended to evoke the metaphysical through viewers’ communion with the canvas in a controlled setting. He drew on his own inner feelings and said "The people who weep before my pictures are having the same religous experience as I had when I painted them.
Mark Rothko’s search to express profound emotion through painting culminated in his now-signature compositions of richly colored, hazy-edged patchesof colors that filliled large canvases, evoking what he referred to as “the sublime.” His canvases were usually large tand the colors appeared to float, emitting feelings of tranquility.