Mark Rothko, Untitled, 1944/1945, National Gallery of Art, Gift of The Mark Rothko Foundation, Inc., 1986.43.181

Inspired by the surrealist technique of automatic writing--letting the brush meander without conscious control in an attempt to release the creative forces of the unconscious--Rothko loosened up his technique and developed a more abstract imagery. In remarkably free watercolors of the mid-1940s, related to the art of the surrealists Joan Miró, André Masson, as well as Arshile Gorky, Rothko explored the fluidity of the medium to evoke a vision of primeval life.


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