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Inspired by Rothko

Marcus Rothkowitz, better known as Mark Rothko, is a Russian artist born in 1903. He was a pioneer of American abstract expressionism alongside fellow artists Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning.

Rothko however, is best known for experimenting with a new reflective way of painting called “Colour Field painting", where the artist literally paints in fields of colour. In fact, Rothko claims that his works are “living organisms" which offer a more intimate view of the artist.

He invented this new painting method in 1940. Colour became Rothko's only means of expression, he removed all other objects from the canvas so colour becomes the only element in sight. These paintings are instantly recognisable by their format: rectangles with blurred edges filled with flat plains of colour. The technique is used by the artist in order to highlight how colour creates the illusion that the coloured plains are moving by themselves. The viewer therefore can't help but be moved by the picture's spiritual nature.

Marcus Rothkowitz' search for his identity was a long journey. The youngest of a Latvian-Jewish family, he fled his homeland and moved to the United States with his family in order to escape the Russian Empire's pogroms in Eastern Europe. Marcus became a US citizen in 1938 and two years later Americanised his name to “Mark Rothko". Mark Rothko wanted to address the world, and began to paint the things he wanted to say. He began with figurative art and expressionism, producing urban scenes, landscapes, still lifes, interior designs and self-portraits. He then slowly abandoned figurative art and turned towards more subjective works. Inspired by mythology, he produced paintings of gods and monsters but soon realised that American painting had reached a dead end. He then devoted himself to writing a manifesto which today is considered to be one of the founding texts of contemporary art history.

His canvases can be summarised in three key words: form, spatiality and colour. He is the pioneer of abstract expressionism, but denies belonging to any movement because he doesn't want to be alienated. He found his signature artistic style after discovering Matisse's “The Red Studio" (1911), where the rectangular shapes and bright colours influenced the beginnings of his art.

Rothko creates large format coloured structures, which are defined by slightly blurred rectangular forms which are supposed to open the viewer's mind through their obscurity. These large, mostly bichromatic formats, aim to create a meditative experience through their peaceful grandeur.

Here is a selection of contemporary artists whose work is as abstract as it is expressive, and was inspired by the genius of Rothko.

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Joan Mitchell, Field, Print

Joan Mitchell

Field, 1992
29.9 x 22 inch
Print

$3,460

Conrad Marca-Relli, Composition , Print

Conrad Marca-Relli

Composition , 1977
29.9 x 22 inch
Print

$807

Gabriele Fettolini, Lejanía, Painting

Gabriele Fettolini

Lejanía, 2013
31.5 x 15.7 x 2.8 inch
Painting

$2,307

Simon Ledson, Sticks-L, Photography

Simon Ledson

Sticks-L, 2018
40.2 x 40.2 x 2 inch
Photography

$4,812

Anet Duncan, Amb la ma esquerra, Painting

Anet Duncan

Amb la ma esquerra, 2014
35.4 x 35.4 x 2 inch
Painting

$3,345

Philippe Hillenweck, Inspiration, Painting

Philippe Hillenweck

Inspiration, 2013
23.6 x 28.7 inch
Painting

$2,018

Yann Audureau, Sans titre, Drawing

Yann Audureau

Sans titre, 2018
17.7 x 16.7 x 0 inch
Drawing

$231

Enrique Brinkmann, Boceto Cino, Painting

Enrique Brinkmann

Boceto Cino, 2010
80.3 x 82.7 x 2.8 inch
Painting

$25,375

Méryl B, MB 11, Painting

Méryl B

MB 11, 2018
51.2 x 38.2 x 1.2 inch
Painting

$1,096

Bram van Velde, MP 326 - Greffe, Print

Bram van Velde

MP 326 - Greffe, 1978
9.4 x 7.5 inch
Print

$1,384

Christian Neuman, Blood Red, Painting

Christian Neuman

Blood Red, 2019
47.2 x 31.5 x 1.6 inch
Painting

$4,614

Anya Spielman, Border, Painting

Anya Spielman

Border, 2017
20 x 20 inch
Painting

$4,411

Jérôme Legrand, Sans titre p3, Painting

Jérôme Legrand

Sans titre p3, 2016
15.7 x 11.8 x 0.8 inch
Painting

$577

Bram van Velde, MP 333 - Ciseaux, Print

Bram van Velde

MP 333 - Ciseaux, 1979
13 x 10.2 inch
Print

$1,384

Gabriele Fettolini, Quasi africano, Painting

Gabriele Fettolini

Quasi africano, 2014
11.8 x 15.7 x 2.4 inch
Painting

$1,384

Sandrine Ehrhart, Sleepwalking, Painting

Sandrine Ehrhart

Sleepwalking, 2016
36.2 x 28.7 x 2 inch
Painting

$2,076 $2,768

Peter Sinnige, Forêt à Épernay, Painting

Peter Sinnige

Forêt à Épernay, 1999
13 x 9.4 inch
Painting

$369

Marc Morrel, Seascape, Painting

Marc Morrel

Seascape, 2015
29.5 x 29.5 x 1.6 inch
Painting

$4,037

Gabriele Fettolini, Estudio alrededor de la luz, Painting

Gabriele Fettolini

Estudio alrededor de la luz, 2014
26.4 x 56.3 x 1.2 inch
Painting

$4,614

Abera Cad, Terre II, Painting

Abera Cad

Terre II, 2019
39.4 x 31.9 x 0.8 inch
Painting

$923

Simon Ledson, Wave After Wane, Painting

Simon Ledson

Wave After Wane, 2018
29.9 x 24 x 1.2 inch
Painting

$2,807

Simon Ledson, Hash-R, Painting

Simon Ledson

Hash-R, 2016
21.7 x 17.7 x 1.2 inch
Painting

$2,005

Park Byung-Hoon, Transparence 164058, Painting

Park Byung-Hoon

Transparence 164058, 2019
23.6 x 15.7 x 0.8 inch
Painting

$3,287

Park Byung-Hoon, Transparence, Painting

Park Byung-Hoon

Transparence, 2019
17.7 x 47.2 x 0.8 inch
Painting

$13,034

Anet Duncan, El escenari de flames, Painting

Anet Duncan

El escenari de flames, 2014
48 x 40.9 x 2 inch
Painting

$3,922

Anet Duncan, L'escric amb llapis vermella, Painting

Anet Duncan

L'escric amb llapis vermella, 2014
31.9 x 45.7 x 2 inch
Painting

$3,345

Debra Ramsay, Colors Within a Witch Hazel Blossom 2, Painting

Debra Ramsay

Colors Within a Witch Hazel Blossom 2, 2015
8.5 x 11 inch
Painting

$535

Emmanuel Barcilon, Sans titre, Painting

Emmanuel Barcilon

Sans titre, 2016
19.7 x 19.7 x 2 inch
Painting

$4,844

Octave Pixel, Couleurs Roses de Gris, Print

Octave Pixel

Couleurs Roses de Gris, 2015
39.4 x 29.5 x 0.4 inch
Print

$1,499

Emmanuel Barcilon, Sans titre - bleu, Painting

Emmanuel Barcilon

Sans titre - bleu, 2016
19.7 x 19.7 x 2 inch
Painting

$4,844

Emmanuel Barcilon, Sans titre - argent, Painting

Emmanuel Barcilon

Sans titre - argent, 2016
23.6 x 17.7 x 2 inch
Painting

$4,844

Octave Pixel, Rouge rouge de Gris, Print

Octave Pixel

Rouge rouge de Gris, 2015
39.4 x 29.5 x 0.4 inch
Print

$1,499

Emmanuel Barcilon, Sans titre, Painting

Emmanuel Barcilon

Sans titre, 2016
23.6 x 17.7 x 2 inch
Painting

$4,844

Emmanuel Barcilon, Sans titre, Painting

Emmanuel Barcilon

Sans titre, 2016
23.6 x 17.7 x 2 inch
Painting

$4,844

Bang Hai Ja, Terre de lumière, Painting

Bang Hai Ja

Terre de lumière, 2014
11.4 x 13 inch
Painting

$4,383

Peter Rossiter, Air Filter 1, Painting

Peter Rossiter

Air Filter 1, 2015
31.9 x 20.5 x 1.6 inch
Painting

$2,595

Philippe Hillenweck, Strates, Painting

Philippe Hillenweck

Strates, 2012
23.6 x 28.7 inch
Painting

$2,030

Cyril Clair, Mandoline , Painting

Cyril Clair

Mandoline , 2016
31.5 x 31.5 x 1.2 inch
Painting

$2,538

Lao Sheng, Composition, Painting

Lao Sheng

Composition, 2015
13 x 17.3 x 2.4 inch
Painting

$1,384

Emerich Meerson, Eléments..., Painting

Emerich Meerson

Eléments..., 2017
39.4 x 28.7 x 1.6 inch
Painting

$10,957

Gilles Bailac, Golden mood, Painting

Gilles Bailac

Golden mood, 2016
16.1 x 12.2 inch
Painting

$1,038

Frédérique Barba, Untitled 32, Painting

Frédérique Barba

Untitled 32, 2017
45.7 x 35 x 0.8 inch
Painting

Sold out

Frédérique Barba, Untitled 42, Painting

Frédérique Barba

Untitled 42, 2018
63.8 x 44.9 x 0.8 inch
Painting

Sold out

Méryl B, MB 07, Painting

Méryl B

MB 07, 2018
39.4 x 59.1 x 1.2 inch
Painting

Sold out

Anya Spielman, Ultraviolet, Painting

Anya Spielman

Ultraviolet, 2015
6.3 x 6.3 inch
Painting

Sold out

Anet Duncan, New York, Print

Anet Duncan

New York, 2003
22.4 x 22.4 x 0.4 inch
Print

Sold out

Simon Ledson, Mirissa-R, Painting

Simon Ledson

Mirissa-R, 2018
40.2 x 40.2 x 2 inch
Painting

Sold out

Debra Ramsay, Honeysuckle 4, Painting

Debra Ramsay

Honeysuckle 4, 2016
8.3 x 20 inch
Painting

Sold out

Debra Ramsay, The Days Grow Longer in the Spring, Painting

Debra Ramsay

The Days Grow Longer in the Spring, 2014
20.1 x 61 inch
Painting

Sold out

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