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In the Tower: Mark Rothko

This short documentary, narrated by curator Harry Cooper, was produced by the National Gallery of Art in conjunction with the exhibition In the Tower: Mark Rothko. The film considers Rothko's style, which infused abstract painting with emotional significance. Recognized in the 1950s for his use of brilliant colors, Rothko changed direction in the 1960s and produced a series of canvases known as the black-form paintings. Critics and artists often associated the darkness of these works with Rothko's bouts of illness and depression, but Cooper argues that the paintings are a continuation of the painter's lifelong exploration of light.