Rothko’s Abstract Art
Mark Rothko: Can "Nothing" be art?
Mark Rothko's late abstract paintings were very simple, featuring floating rectangles of
color with soft edges. They don't have recognizable subjects that a viewer can identify.
In your essay, discuss what you think Rothko's paintings were about. Do you think that
their emptiness can really be seen as art? Do you think Rothko's paintings offer
anything of value to their viewers?
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Mark Rothko introduced a new technique of drawing in which he drew rectangles with
soft edges. Unlike the art done before him, which represented various features such as houses,
plants, people, and structures, Rothko did his art in an abstract manner (WantedRobot). His
drawings represented nothing specific, but Rothko presented contrasting colors to mark different
parts of the drawing in all drawings. Thus these pieces of art can be interpreted in various ways
depending on the audience.
According to an American priest, his idea of God was a blurred and abstract thing, which
could have influenced Rothko’s art. In his drawings, Rothko maintained the landscape, and using
different colors, he represented the ground, and in between, he painted a thin line that
represented the horizon. In contrast, the upper rectangle represented the sky (WantedRobot). For
example, from this art, it would be wrong to claim that Rothko's arts are empty as they represent
something that represents something that requires the audience’s closer attention to understand.
Rothko tries to tell his audience that innocence's transcendence can be done through light and
The beauty of the art is eye-catching, especially how he transforms from one edge to the
other. He also was able to make the edges of his drawings soft in a way that cannot go
unrecognized. Even though Rothko's abstract art is hard to understand, the meaning of the colors
used in them catches the audience's eye and sets the view's mood. Abstract expressionism was
meant to communicate things that did not exist in the physical form, including feelings.
Therefore, it could be hard to interpret that art, but they still have meaning and communicate to
the inner person.
WantedRobot. "The Shock of the New – Ep 6 – The View from the Edge." YouTube,
14 Mar. 2014, www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbS0Z-n3vww&feature=emb_title.