The artist would rarely title his paintings in the conventional sense, leaving us to frequently number of name by colour in order to better identify the different artworks. In this case the tones of slate blue, brown and plum are used, along with two different numbers of 37 and 19. This may have been due to two different numbering systems being used and so both were put together. A stunning raisonne of the artist's career has enabled us to better understand his full body of work and clear up some of the confusion around certain pieces. Rothko did not name some of these paintings out of laziness or arrogance, far from it, but simply did not want to put pre-conceived ideas into the mind of the viewer, and essentially allow them to explore their own imagination instead. This is underlined by how some of the earlier paintings in his career where recognisable forms were used, and in most of those cases he would use relevant titles.
There are several elements to this abstract design which are worthy of note - firstly, the two objects in the centre of the canvas do not reach anywhere near the edge of the painting, which was somewhat unusual for this artist's Color Field paintings. Secondly, he chooses a bright colour for the background, but relatively more subdued tones for the foreground. This slight diversion from his more common routine means that the plum background actually holds a greater significance in this piece and also attracts our focus more than it might otherwise have done. The two main rectangles of colour in the centre also look smaller because of the amount of space left to their sides, again changing the atmosphere slightly within this painting, as if the two blocks are a little further away from us.
The artist would experiment with this routine many times and took the idea about as far as it could go. Whilst the ideas seem simplistic, it was his originality at the time and his desire to challenge convention which makes it so important and innovative - one would not say the same about an artist who used the same techniques today as it would simply be unimaginative. Many of the new ideas in 20th century art would appear in the US, where the country was starting to really lead the world for the first time, having followed in the footsteps of Europe for several centuries leading up to that point. These advancements met with resistance from many academics but eventually they were convinced of the merits of artists such as this and invited into the various institutions for the first time.