Mark Rothko, No. 2 (No. 7 and No. 20),1951 (alternatively dated to 1950), Collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon, Upperville, Virginia

Now applied in thin washes (often composed of both oil and egg-based media), Rothko's color achieved a new luminosity. The artist's technique appears simple, but on close examination is richly varied in its range of effects. At times, paint can be seen running upward across the surface; this is because Rothko often inverted a picture while working on it, sometimes changing the final orientation at a late stage.


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