This masterpiece was an abstract art painting on canvas by Mark Rothko, which he created in 1944. It is said that Mark was experimenting with the paint-on canvas to see if he could create prehistoric forms of art (such as cave art) using biomorphic elements. Therefore, he researched ancient art, carved symbols, and glyphs before making his watercolour painting. To create fine shapes, he used pencil and tempera.
From the Untitled 1944 painting, viewers can pick various shapes, drown in charcoal and brown colour. There seems to be an animal on the right, thanks to its head and what seems to be hair on the body. The middle showcases a round object and a tube-like object with an open mouth, on top. Below the round object is a T-like symbol that extends to the bottom of the image. On the left of the image is a tree-like item with what looks like an animal perched on the top. There are various other objects at the bottom of the tree.
Style of the Art
The masterpiece is made with the Surrealism style of art. Surrealism was a movement that allowed painters to tap into the subconscious when creating pieces of art. This led to the release of the mind's creative potential and resulted in amazing pieces of art. One particularly interesting form of surrealism that Mark enjoined in was Surrealism Automatism. In this form of art, artists usually suppress their conscious control in the image creation process, allowing the unconscious mind to act as it wishes. With the latter form of art, it was easy for the painter to imagine things and present them as they are on the mind without arguing within themselves if they were appropriate for the image.
In the case with Mark Rothko’s Untitled 1944, he imagined what cave art would have looked like and what animals would have been displayed and came up with a masterpiece that would pass as an ancient painting. Such was the power of surreal automatism. Besides, his choice of colours mimicked what ancient men would have used to draw on cave walls after their hunting expeditions.
Inspiration for the Art
Various artists inspired Mark Rothko into creating this abstract image in 1944. They included Adre Masson, who found a way to adapt automatic writing used by Philippe Soupault to automatic art, Hans Arp, the leading 20th century Dadaist, and Max Ernst. Mark's work also included post-World War II abstract expressionism, where artists allowed the paint to trip onto the canvas from the brushes in order to come up with unique forms on their paintings.