Rothko first worked in a realistic style. By 1948, however, he had arrived at a highly personal form of Abstract Expressionism. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Rothko did not employ techniques such as violent brushstrokes or the dripping and splattering of paint. Instead, his paintings achieved their effects by juxtaposing large areas of vivid colors that seemingly float parallel to the picture plane.
By the early 1960s, Rothko was selling paintings to the likes of the Rockefellers, and in 1961 he had a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art. But by then the art world was moving away from Abstract Expressionism and toward the Pop Art of artists like Andy Warhol.
Rothko's color palette grew progressively darker, as seen in the paintings he did for Houston's Rothko Chapel and a series in brown, black, and gray. In 1970, Rothko took his own life in his New York studio.
Recently, there was a flurry of interest in the Rothko image that was used on the set of Mad Men. Fans wanted to know if it was a real Rothko painting. Set decorator Amy Wells said, “After all the legal issues and the clearances, you get the image online and you reprint it. With their permission, obviously. That's how we got the Rothko. Of course, we have to destroy it after the season. It can't be circulated, because it's a direct copy."
From amctv.com and biography.com
|Rothko in the office of Bert Cooper in Mad Men|