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Number 19

Blurry rectangles of yellow, gray, and black float against background of orange.
© 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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  • Blurry rectangles of yellow, gray, and black float against background of orange.

Date:

1949

Artist:

Mark Rothko (Marcus Rothkowitz)
American, born Russia (Latvia), 1903–1970

About this artwork

Like many of the New York School painters of the 1940s, Mark Rothko was largely influenced by Surrealism, creating symbolic abstractions comprised of biomorphic and mythological forms. By 1947 he abandoned such suggestive imagery and began working exclusively with how ideas of color, light, and space could be manifested in paint. Number 19 follows the characteristic format of his transitional canvases, in which loosely defined shapes hover against a thinly brushed background. Color had become a defining force for Rothko, as had the atmospheric—even ghostly—layering of oil paint, which would lead to his signature color-field of the 1950s.

Status

Currently Off View

Department

Contemporary Art

Artist

Mark Rothko

Title

Number 19

Place

United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

1949

Medium

Oil on canvas

Inscriptions

Not inscribed on recto; inscribed: verso: "Mark Rothko / 1949" (lower left in orange-red paint); "Top" (on upper strainer member in orange-red paint)

Dimensions

172.8 × 101.8 cm (68 × 40 1/8 in.)

Credit Line

Anonymous gift

Reference Number

1957.308

Copyright

© 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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