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Black on Maroon

© 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko ARS, NY and DACS, London. Photo credit: Tate

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Notes

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This painting comes from one of three series of canvases painted by Rothko in 1958–1959 in response to a commission for murals for the small dining room of the Four Seasons Restaurant in New York. The Four Seasons, one of the smartest restaurants in the city, is in the Seagram Building, a celebrated classic modern skyscraper on Park Avenue designed by Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson. As he worked on the commission Rothko's conception of the scheme became more and more sombre and he abandoned the first series as being too light in mood. He then adopted a palette of black on maroon and dark red on maroon, and compositional structures of open, rectangular, window-like forms, rather than his usual arrangement of uniform rectangular patches, used for the first series.

Tate Modern

London


Date

1958

Medium

Mixed media on canvas

Measurements

H 266.7 x W 381.2 cm

Accession number

T01031

Acquisition method

Presented by the artist through the American Federation of Arts 1968

Work type

Painting


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Tate Modern

Bankside, London, Greater London SE1 9TG England

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