No.5 / No.24 is an oil on canvas produced in 1948. The genre is abstract art, and the style used is abstract expressionism. As sophisticated and progressive as Rothko's official language was, he considered his paintings an essential way of awakening audiences to all the strength of human emotion.
The Style Portrayed
Rothko's No. 5 / No. 24 sits midway as part of his collection of hazily geometric shapes and feather-like designs. This piece was created between his earlier works that took on surrealist composition forms and his later works that were more abstract arrangements of varying colour blocks. These abstract forms characterized his style throughout his life after that.
The Technique Displayed
The loosely arranged colour zones that define the compositions of this sequence of works are also called the Multiform. Here, Mark seems to have abandoned shapes that resemble natural elements or the body of human beings. This painting exhibits a balanced blend of space and foreground colour. This abstract artist uses smaller brushes around the edges of his shapes to fan them outward. The intention was to make the forms commingle with their neighbouring structures and the canvas on which they are gently set.
The random blotches of black colour could likely be as a result of the colour mix applied when the previously painted surface was not yet completely dry, giving this piece an intriguing design. It can have a different meaning to each viewer depending on their current state of being. This was the artist's intention to have his pieces relatable to a range of individuals from all walks of life.
Mark Rothko derived his inspiration from the events that were happening around the world during his time. His works were responsible for shifting the art scene to bring out contemplative introspection amid all the melodrama that was a result of the Second World War. It is during this time that abstract art expressionism became his sole means of communication through art.
This later contributed quite significantly to the growth of what was later termed as Colour Field Painting. Mark Rotho, as one of his generation's leading artists, is closely related to the New York School. This was a circle of painters that was birthed not long after World War II. The group's formation intended to create a refreshing collective voice to express opinions through art. He developed a modern and passionate style of abstract painting throughout a career stretching through five decades of existence. Many other artists later embraced this style.