Mark Rothko, 1903–70, was an American painter born in Russia. Rothko immigrated to the United States in 1913. He was a student of Max Weber, then came under the influence of the surrealists. In the mid-1940s Rothko experimented with abstraction, arranging intense colors in irregular shapes in his art, prints and posters.
Soon he became a leading exponent of a uniquely meditative and personal strain within the larger movement of abstract expressionism. His later art, prints and frequently consist of floating rectangles of luminous color on enormous canvases that manage to simultaneously convey a deep sensuality and a profound spirituality.
Rothko’s art, prints and posters to some degree presaged some of the techniques of the later color-field painting. He collaborated with the architect Philip Johnson on the design of a chapel in Houston in the mid-1960s. Rothko committed suicide.