Here we find areas of black and grey, with the individual brush strokes still visible in some parts of the painting. Rothko clearly chose a fairly thin layer of oil here as we can see elements of the canvas showing through from below. It may even have been a previous artwork that he chose to paint over, though this can only be confirmed for sure with some scientific research. The red tone showing through from below is a light brown which could easily be from either theory. The artist did concentrate on black and grey tones during the 1960s, but not exclusively as some have suggested. He had also moved on from his window format, where rectangles of colour would leave small gaps between each other, as well as around the boundary of each artwork. By now he had simplified down to colour blocks which went up to the edge of each piece.
We have featured several similar paintings here, and he produced many in this colour scheme - the impact would be a dramatic negatively, as we are surrounded by a canvas several metres in width and height and little or no bright colour. It was like sitting in a dark room, unable to make out any details of the things around us. He was all about creating emotion and triggering imagination, hence the artist’s preference for avoiding descriptive titles for his paintings.
By the end of his career, Rothko would establish himself as a major figure within the New York art scene which itself was proving highly influential across the rest of the western world. His approach was about as abstract as anyone would dare to proceed at that time and he truly enjoyed challenging the traditional norms of the art world. Although he worked within other styles and movements, particularly earlier in his career, Rothko would always be most famous for his rectangles of colour which became known as the Color Field style. He would make use of this approach in hundreds of large canvases which were designed to immerse you entirely into each item.