Red on Maroon Mural, 1959 by Mark Rothko
Rothko’s work began to darken dramatically during the late 1950s. This development is related to his work on a mural commission for the Four Seasons restaurant, located in the Seagram Building in New York City. Here Rothko turned to a
palette of red, maroon, brown, and black. The artist eventually withdrew from this project, due to misgivings about the restaurant as a proper setting for his work. He had, however, already produced a number of studies and finished
canvases, two of which are included in the present installation. In the Seagram panels, Rothko changed his motif from a closed to an open form, suggesting a threshold or portal. This element may have been related to the architectural
setting for which these works were intended.
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