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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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Bram van Velde, MP 333 - Ciseaux, Print

Bram van Velde

MP 333 - Ciseaux, 1979
13 x 10.2 inch
Print

$1,454

Simon Ledson, Hash-R, Painting

Simon Ledson

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

$2,126

Marcelo Vergara Martinez, Traslado, Painting

Marcelo Vergara Martinez

Traslado, 2016
12.6 x 12.6 x 0.4 inch
Painting

$594

Nick Tidnam, Moroccan Suite III, Fine Art Drawings

Nick Tidnam

Moroccan Suite III, 2021
11.8 x 8.3 x 0.4 inch
Fine Art Drawings

$1,410

Toni Erm, Do You See Yourself?, Painting

Toni Erm

Do You See Yourself?, 2018
31.5 x 27.6 inch
Painting

$2,000

Abera Cad, Terre II, Painting

Abera Cad

Terre II, 2019
39.4 x 31.9 x 0.8 inch
Painting

$969

Emerich Meerson, Sans titre, Painting

Emerich Meerson

Sans titre, 2020
39.4 x 28.7 x 0.8 inch
Painting

$11,510

Philippe Hillenweck, Strates, Painting

Philippe Hillenweck

Strates, 2012
23.6 x 28.7 inch
Painting

$2,132

Marc Morrel, Seascape, Painting

Marc Morrel

Seascape, 2015
29.5 x 29.5 x 1.6 inch
Painting

$4,241

Eric Robin, Ksora, Painting

Eric Robin

Ksora, 2018
28.3 x 28.3 x 0.8 inch
Painting

$1,817

Gil Hanrion, Le ciel amoureux, Painting

Gil Hanrion

Le ciel amoureux, 2019
47.2 x 23.6 x 1.6 inch
Painting

$1,575

Marabout, Gris chaud et rouge tatami, Painting

Marabout

Gris chaud et rouge tatami, 2018
51.2 x 35 x 1 inch
Painting

$4,119

Eric Robin, Silma, Painting

Eric Robin

Silma, 2020
28.3 x 28.3 x 0.8 inch
Painting

$1,817

Sounya Whang, Composition encre, Painting

Sounya Whang

Composition encre, 2019
19.7 x 15.7 x 0.1 inch
Painting

$788

Daniela Pasqualini, Timeless memories - Paesaggio Poetico, Painting

Daniela Pasqualini

Timeless memories - Paesaggio Poetico, 2021
60 x 48 x 1.5 inch
Painting

$3,800

Simon Ledson, Wave After Wane, Painting

Simon Ledson

Wave After Wane, 2017
29.9 x 24 x 1.6 inch
Painting

$2,977

Conrad Marca-Relli, Composition , Print

Conrad Marca-Relli

Composition , 1977
29.9 x 22 inch
Print

$848

Gabriela Horikawa, Seascape with Figures 2020, Painting

Gabriela Horikawa

Seascape with Figures 2020, 2020
36 x 24 x 0.1 inch
Painting

$1,300

Gabriela Horikawa, Landscapes and Figures 10-13-2020, Painting

Gabriela Horikawa

Landscapes and Figures 10-13-2020, 2020
24 x 18 x 0.1 inch
Painting

$600

Gabriela Horikawa, Untitled landscape 3-11-20, Painting

Gabriela Horikawa

Untitled landscape 3-11-20, 2020
30 x 24 x 0.7 inch
Painting

$1,600

Sandrine Ehrhart, Sleepwalking, Painting

Sandrine Ehrhart

Sleepwalking, 2016
36.2 x 28.7 x 2 inch
Painting

$2,908

Gabriela Horikawa, Landscape 3, Painting

Gabriela Horikawa

Landscape 3, 2015
40 x 30 x 1.7 inch
Painting

$3,700

Éric Mercier Sevin, Calendrier, Painting

Éric Mercier Sevin

Calendrier, 2013
19.7 x 25.6 x 0 inch
Painting

$654

Éric Mercier Sevin, Vivante, Painting

Éric Mercier Sevin

Vivante, 2008
19.7 x 25.6 x 0 inch
Painting

$727

Kerstin Paillard, Hanami 2, Painting

Kerstin Paillard

Hanami 2, 2018
15.7 x 15.7 x 1.2 inch
Painting

$1,817

Phoebe Dingwall, Yellow Smudge, Painting

Phoebe Dingwall

Yellow Smudge, 2015
15.7 x 15.7 x 1.2 inch
Painting

$909

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

$3,514

Alex Claude, Light frozen veil, Painting

Alex Claude

Light frozen veil, 2021
11.8 x 11.8 x 0.8 inch
Painting

$363

Philippe Hillenweck, Inspiration, Painting

Philippe Hillenweck

Inspiration, 2013
23.6 x 28.7 inch
Painting

$2,120

Peter Rossiter, Air Filter 1, Painting

Peter Rossiter

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

$2,726

Park Byung-Hoon, Transparence 164058, Painting

Park Byung-Hoon

Transparence 164058, 2019
23.6 x 15.7 x 0.8 inch
Painting

$3,453

Hamilton Aguiar, Solitude Red (120031), Painting

Hamilton Aguiar

Solitude Red (120031), 2012
24 x 24 x 2 inch
Painting

2,500 - $ 5,000

Peter Sinnige, Forêt à Épernay, Painting

Peter Sinnige

Forêt à Épernay, 1999
13 x 9.4 inch
Painting

$388

James Scoppettone, Picnic Abstract, Painting

James Scoppettone

Picnic Abstract, 2018
60 x 40 inch
Painting

$13,500

Maria Paola Coda, 401, Painting

Maria Paola Coda

401, 2021
76.8 x 51.2 inch
Painting

$8,602

Kerstin Paillard, Dracaena, Painting

Kerstin Paillard

Dracaena, 2019
74.8 x 47.2 x 1.6 inch
Painting

$8,360

Park Byung-Hoon, Transparence, Painting

Park Byung-Hoon

Transparence, 2019
17.7 x 47.2 x 0.8 inch
Painting

$13,691

Léopoldine Roux, Hasta el cielo #6, Painting

Léopoldine Roux

Hasta el cielo #6, 2020
47.2 x 31.5 x 1.6 inch
Painting

$6,300

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