Why Are Mark Rothko’s Paintings Considered Special?

Whenever you speak about an influential American artist, the name Mark Rothko always comes up. Mark Rothko is a very important American artist.

Mark Rothko’s paintings are remarkable because they are original works of art. He is one of the founders of the abstract expressionism movement and color field painting. But more than that, he believed that his spirit lives within the art and that we, the individuals, can view his art can be taken to a different realm.

10 Reasons Mark Rothko’s Paintings Are Considered So Special And Valuable

The Art of Mark Rothko at RA’s Artistic Director Tim Marlow.

Many people look at Mark Rothko’s paintings they wonder what is so special about them or why they are also valuable. The truth is that many of his paintings continue to sell for record numbers; they are now selling in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

There are many reasons why Mark Rothko’s work is exceptional. Mark Rothko has left an impression on us all in life and death. Today we cannot talk about great American artists without talking and mentioning the name of Mark Rothko.

We love Mark Rothko’s artistic work and think it is unique. Here are our top 10 reasons why

Mark Rothko Was A True Artistic Creator

Many people can create or paint. But there are not that many people who can create a new form of art and art movement – that is Mark Rothko.

Mark Rothko is one of the founders of the Abstract Expressionism art movement. It was a movement developed by American painters in the 1940s and 50s. He is considered one of the founders of this movement, together with Jackson Pollock at Willem de Kooning.

The abstract expressionism movement focuses on gestural brushstrokes or mark-making, adding a kind of impression or spontaneity to the painting. Mark Rothko himself said this about his art:

“To me art is an adventure into an unknown world, which can be explored only by those willing to take the risk.”

Mark Rothko

Mark Rothko Captured Basic Human Emotions On Canvas

Mark Rothko’s work is about capturing human emotion on the canvas. He used the canvas to express some basic human feelings such as tragedy, ecstasy, and doom.

Mark Rothko said this about his paintings:

“I’m not an abstractionist. I’m not interested in the relationship of color or form or anything else. I’m interested only in expressing basic human emotions: tragedy, ecstasy, doom, and so on.”

Mark Rothko

Mark Rothko’s Paintings Are About What We Think

Mark Rothko does not try to tell us what his paintings are about. He said his paintings are about what we think about when we see them. In other words, it is about our minds wandering and what we think, feel, or see on the canvas.

“The most interesting painting is one that expresses more of what one thinks than of what one sees.”

Mark Rothko

Mark Rothko’s paintings have these large areas of color intended for us to contemplate or meditate in response to what we see. It is about us looking at the painting and then looking inside ourselves to see what we feel and why we feel that way.

Mark Rothko Used Colorfield Painting

Mark Rothko and other prominent artists such as Barnett Newman and Clyfford Still were interested in religion and myth. They developed the color field painting, which is characterized by the artist using large areas of more or less a single flat color.

Color field painting was developed in the 1950s and 1960s; behind what we may see as calm colors can be some other meanings.

Mark Rothko said this about his paintings:

“You think my paintings are calm, like windows in some cathedral? You should look again. I’m the most violent of all the American painters. Behind those colours there hides the final cataclysm.”

Mark Rothko

Mark Rothko Knew How To Use Color

Today many of the color combinations we see Mark Rothko use may seem familiar to many of us. But when he was painting them, his color combinations were quite radical and were not often used or seen in the same painting.

Mark Rothko understood how to use color and paint to his advantage in his art. In speaking of his art and color, he said:

“If you are only moved by color relationships, you are missing the point. I am interested in expressing the big emotions – tragedy, ecstasy, doom.”

Mark Rothko

Mark Rothko Understood Surface, Proportions, And Scale

Mark Rothko painted a lot of large-scale paintings. But he did this to maximize his art’s effect and make it feel human or almost like it was living or breathing. With this, he understood the power of scale proportions and essentially the power of the surface of the canvas.

The canvas was for him, filled with human emotions and a living, breathing thing. In speaking of his art and canvas, Mark Rothko said:

“I will say without reservations that from my point of view there can be no abstractions. Any shape or area that has not the pulsating concreteness of real flesh and bones, its vulnerability to pleasure or pain is nothing at all. Any picture that does not provide the environment in which the breath of life can be drawn does not interest me.“

Mark Rothko

Mark Rothko Believed His Paintings Told A Philosophical Truth

Mark Rothko painted so that his art would be more than art but something that communicated human emotions and feelings. For him, it was not just about the color relationships but the canvas itself.

In speaking of the impact of his art, Mark Rothko said:

“The fact that people break down and cry when confronted with my pictures shows that I can communicate those basic human emotions.. the people who weep before my pictures are having the same religious experience I had when painting them. And if you say you are moved only by their color relationships then you miss the point.”

Mark Rothko

Mark Rothko Had Profound Impact On Art Movements

Mark Rothko is considered one of the founders of the Abstract Expressionism movement that later led to other movements such as the modernism movements. He influenced artists and art movements that went after him.

Mark Rothko saw his art as something that was almost human-like when he said:

“My art is not abstract, it lives and breathes.”

Mark Rothko

Mark Rothko Is An Important American Artist

Mark Rothko is one of the essential American artists that ever lived. When we talk about great American artists, his name is always at the top of the list because he continues to be an essential American artist with worldwide appeal.

He was known to take his art so seriously that he would look into the eyes of the people buying it and decide if they could have it. He felt his art was more than just art or something to collect but that his art was part of who he was.

One of the great things that made him such a great and influential American artist was this anti-establishment attitude. Mark Rothko said:

“When I was a younger man, art was a lonely thing. No galleries, no collectors, no critics, no money. Yet, it was a golden age, for we all had nothing to lose and a vision to gain. Today it is not quite the same. It is a time of tons of verbiage, activity, consumption. Which condition is better for the world at large I shall not venture to discuss. But I do know, that many of those who are driven to this life are desperately searching for those pockets of silence where we can root and grow. We must all hope we find them.”

Mark Rothko

Mark Rothko’s Paintings Are Valuable

Today at auctions around the world, Mark Rothko’s paintings are selling for hundreds of millions of dollars. Many of his paintings continue to break records at auction.

That shows how important, unique, and valuable Mark Rothko’s art is today. It is because his spirit continues to live within his art. Mark Rothko said:

“Art to me is an anecdote of the spirit.”

Mark Rothko

Mark Rothko’s art is unique because, as an artist, he was special. He is one of the most impressive American artists that has lived. His work is original and creative; his spirit continues to live within his artwork.

Anita Louise Art is dedicated to art education, great artists, and inspiring others to find and create their art. We love art that uplifts and inspires. #ArtToMakeYouSmile! #ArtToMakeYouHappy!

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Why Paintings Like Rothko’s No. 6 (Violet, Green, & Red) Are Expensive

Mark Rothko’s No 6 (Violet, Green, and Red – 1951) was sold in 2014 for 140,000.000 Euro or over 184,000,000 USD. A huge amount for any painting. Many of Mark Rothko’s paintings continue to fetch record numbers at auction houses worldwide.

By clicking here, you can learn more by reading Why Paintings Like Rothko’s No. 6 (Violet, Green, & Red) Are Expensive.

What Makes Mark Rothko’s Paintings So Valuable?

Mark Rothko’s paintings have been valuable for many years; they are in high demand and continue to fetch record prices around the globe. At first glance, the paintings may look simple, but upon closer look, they are very complex; they are meant to evoke our emotions and to transport us to another realm.

By clicking here, you can discover more by reading What Makes Mark Rothko’s Paintings So Valuable?.

The Last Painting Created By Mark Rothko Before His Death

Mark Rothko’s final painting, a bright red painting called Untitled, 1970 many feel symbolizes blood, particularly his blood as he died from an overdose and slashing his wrists; Mark Rothko was 66 years old and left no suicide note. We know that before his death, he also painted a black and grey series that many have felt was his painted suicide note.

By clicking here, you can learn more by reading The Last Painting Created By Mark Rothko Before His Death.

Anita Louise Hummel

Hi, I am Anita Louise Hummel. I am an artist and a blogger. I paint mainly oil paints. I love to paint women, animals (mainly dogs and cats), and abstracts. I use a lot of gold and silver leaf in my paintings. I also love to blog about anything to do with art, business, Procreate, and all the wonderful artists that inspire me.

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Why Are Mark Rothko’s Paintings Considered Special?