|Four Darks in Red|
|Medium||Oil on Canvas|
|Location||Whitney Museum of American Art, New York|
|Dimensions||102.0 in × 116.0 in|
|259.1 cm × 294.6 cm|
|Mark Rothko Famous Paintings|
|White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose), 1950|
|Four Darks in Red, 1958|
|Untitled (Black on Grey), 1970|
|No. 3/No. 13 (Magenta, Black, Green on Orange), 1949|
|Orange, Red, Yellow, 1961|
|Black on Maroon, 1958|
Mark Rothko’s 1958 abstract painting Four Darks in Red shows his continuation of simplifying the elements that composed his paintings. At face value this seems to be a really simple painting. However, as with all Mark Rothlo’s other works of art, there is a deeper meaning beyond the simplicity and relatively limited palette. In fact this painter is renowned for these types of paintings and there are quite a few other paintings in this same style.
Artistic Techniques and Art Forms
By the 1950’s, he was using horizontal bands of color to divide the canvas. This technique is also used in the painting Four Darks in Red. Repeated layering of thin washes of paint provides luminosity to the painting. Four dark forms float against a red field. These dark “lozenge” shapes move horizontally across the canvas. The red field background is first tinged crimson, then almost brown. The “four darks” appear to both float and blend in to the red background field.