Picture Gallery

Mark Rothko was born Marcus Rothkowitz in Dvinsk, Russia, on September 25, 1903. From 1921 to 1923 Rothko attended Yale University on a full scholarship and then moved to New York City. In 1924 he enrolled in the Art Students League, studying with George Bridgman and Max Weber, in whose class he befriended Louis Harris. He was given his first one-man exhibition in 1933 at the Museum of Art in Portland and his first in New York a few months later at the Contemporary Arts Gallery.

The New York exhibition included landscapes, nudes, portraits, and city scenes. At the end of 1934 Rothko participated in an exhibition at the Gallery Secession, whose members included Louis Harris, Adolph Gottlieb, Ilya Bolotowsky and Joseph Solman; several months later they left the Secession to form their own group, the Ten, which exhibited together eight times between 1935 and 1939. Rothko's paintings in the Ten's exhibitions were expressionist in style. During this period he was employed by the WPA (Works Progress Administration), where he produced many subway scenes emphasizing the isolation of the riders.

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