Mark Rothko, Sea Fantasy, 1946. Oil paint on canvas. Gift of The Mark Rothko Foundation, Inc., National Gallery of Art, 1986.43.8 ©1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Image courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Mark Rothko, No. 8, 1949. Oil paint and mixed media on canvas. Gift of The Mark Rothko Foundation, Inc., National Gallery of Art, 1986.43.147 ©1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Image courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Figure to Field: Mark Rothko in the 1940s

June 23, 2013September 29, 2013
Hamilton Building - Level 1 — Included in general admission.

“An enormously satisfying exhibition of early Mark Rothko works … gives viewers an opportunity to hone their powers of observation. Following the artist through a decade of activity, we get to see that his apparently radical shift from suggestively figurative to purely abstract art may not be so extreme after all.” – Tom L. Freudenheim, The Wall Street Journal (about the exhibition when it was at the Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio) 

Mark Rothko in the 1940s traces the development of Rothko’s work during the most critical decade of his career.  In the early ’40s, Rothko rejected realism and began a series of abstract works meant to evoke classical myth; in the late ’40s he created his first color field paintings, the works on which his stature as one of the most famous American painters of the post-war period rests. The exhibition also includes paintings by other celebrated abstract expressionists such as Robert Motherwell, Clyfford Still, and Jackson Pollock, who shared Rothko’s search toward total abstraction.

Figure to Field: Mark Rothko in the 1940s will be on view through September 29, 2013.

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Figure to Field: Mark Rothko in the 1940s is organized by the Arkansas Arts Center, the Columbia Museum of Art, the Columbus Museum of Art and the Denver Art Museum, in conjunction with the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Significant support is provided the Dedalus Foundation. Local support is provided by Christie’s, the generous donors to the Annual Fund Leadership Campaign and the citizens who support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD). Promotional support is provided by 5280 Magazine, CBS4, and The Denver Post. This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.