Mark Rothko, a talented painter, was born in 1903 in Daugavpils, Latvia. His entire family migrated to the US when Rothko was just ten years old. In the US, his family settled in Portland, Oregon. He later attended Yale University, intending to become an engineer. However, Rothko never completed his studies. It was in New York where he participated briefly in some classes at the Art student league. Under the guidance of Max Weber, Rothko was motivated to work in a figurative style.
Rothko introduced Multiform as a part of a group painting in 1948. In this masterpiece, this artist demonstrated a mature use of the abstract expression. This painting is currently located at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, Australia.
These paintings signified Rothko transition into abstract style, which entailed a total change in figurative and natural art. Multiforms as a group were all painted between 1947 and 1949. Although the artist never used the word Multiform to describe his work, historians introduced the title Multiform to describe Rothko group of painting. The naming process happened after his death in 1970.
During his Multiform work, Rothko ensured that his standard reference to nature disappeared as patches of colours became the norm of his elemental composition. When he was painting Multiform, the goal was to retain various texture effect using watercolour and gouache.
The style used in Multiform
In Multiform, Rothko used liquid paint to soak his canvas. He ensured his oil paint was well diluted before applying it to achieve consistency in his colour pigmentation. The artist applied very thin paint to his canvas, overlapping glazes. This action left the canvas soft with cloudy edges. The process also formed white outlines surrounding the different shapes.
However, Rothko could use these different shapes to express his emotional status. That's why Multiform described a greater breadth on a scale, composition, and heightened attention to colour. To complete his work, Rothko finished by painting the edge of his canvases by exhibiting it without enclosing its frames.
Theme behind multiform
When Rothko was painting Multiform, the artist illustrated a transition phase in his artistic growth. Multiform was supposed to have a spiritual art form devoid of myth, figure or landscape. Their purpose was supposed to evoke emotions and personal connection. That's why this artist could never name his work for fear of limiting its potential.
Mark Rothko is among the best abstract expressionist painter whose work is known for using intense colour-block painting. Although the expression Multiform came shortly after his death, it becomes a Rothko signature style. Nonetheless, Multiform is a symbol of the mature culmination of Rothko artist prowess.