#101 (1961) by Mark Rothko

Mark Rothko
#101, 1961
Oil on canvas
79 x 81 in (200.7 x 205.7 cm)
Collection of Emily and Joseph Pulitzer, Jr.
© 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Mark Rothko (1903–1970), one of the preeminent American artists of his generation, focused on color as a vehicle for addressing a range of profound human experiences, including tragedy, ecstasy, and doom. In paring down his paintings to pure, abstract passages of delicately balanced hues, Rothko sought to express universal emotions that would elicit a response from the viewer.

#101 is one of the artist’s late works, demonstrating a turn toward a dramatically darker palette. Painted in 1961, it features his signature compositional arrangement; in this work, thin washes of red, green, and indigo fields are suspended horizontally over a muted brown background. The edges of these three cloud-like strips seem to vibrate and blur, simultaneously retreating into and emerging from the shallow background, and inviting the viewer into the composition.

Rothko’s #101 will be presented alongside Gedi Sibony’s The Other Great Abundance (2014) until July 2, as part of a rotating selection of works from the collection of Emily and Joseph Pulitzer Jr.

2/2 Current Exhibition

On Earth