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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)


Photo: Paul Macapia



Mark Rothko

American, 1903-1970

Over the years, Rothko progressively stripped his paintings of figurative content, developing his signature composition of glowing blocks of color. While the human scale and horizontal organization of his canvases often suggest landscapes, the strong verticality of works such as this maintain a mesmerizing focus on the abstract qualities of color and light.

Oil on canvas
81 3/4 x 42 1/2 x 2 1/4 in. (207.65 x 107.95 x 5.72 cm)
Gift of the Virginia and Bagley Wright Collection
Provenance: [Betty Parsons Gallery, New York]; purchased from gallery by Virginia Bloedel Wright, New York, 1953; collection of Virginia Bloedel Wright and Bagley Wright, Seattle, to 1991; partial and promised gift from Mr. and Mrs. Wright to the Seattle Art Museum, 1991
Photo: Paul Macapia
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistoryPittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Department of Fine Arts, Carnegie Institute, 1958 Pittsburgh Bicentennial International Exhibition of Contemporary Painting and Sculpture, Dec. 5, 1958 - Feb. 8, 1959.

New York, New York, Musuem of Modern Art, U.S. Representation: India's 3rd International Contemporary Art Exhibition (New Delhi, India, All India Arts and Crafts Society, Feb. 23 - Mar. 7, 1957; Ahmadabad, India, Municipal Museum, Mar. 19 - 31, 1957; Hyderabad, India, Industrial Exhibition Grounds, Apr. 14 - 25, 1957; Calcutta, India, Lady Brabourne College, May 16 - June 9, 1957).

Portland, Oregon, Portland Art Museum, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Bagley Wright: Twentieth Century American and European Paintings and Sculpture, Nov. 8 - December 6, 1964.

San Francisco, California, San Francisco Museum of Art, Colorists 1950-1965, Oct. 15 - Nov. 21, 1965

Washington, D.C., Washington Gallery of Modern Art, Twentieth Century Painting from Collections in the State of Washington, (dates not recorded) 1966 (Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum Pavilion, Dec. 8, 1966 - Jan. 8, 1967).

New York, New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Painting and Sculpture: 1940-1970, Oct. 18, 1969 - Feb. 1, 1970.

New York, New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Mark Rothko, 1903-1970: A Retrospective, Oct. 27, 1978 - Jan. 14, 1979. (Houston, Texas, Museum of Fine Arts, Feb. 15 - Apr. 18, 1979; Minneapolis, Minnesota, Walker Art Center, Apr. 25 - June 10, 1979; Los Angeles, California, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, July 3 - Sept. 26, 1979). Text by Bernard Malamud and Diane Waldman. Cat. no. 104, reproduced in color.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, The New York School, Nov. 23, 1988 - Jan. 29, 1989.

New York, New York, Barnard College through Salander-O'Reilly Galleries, BARNARD COLLECTS: The Educated Eye, Sept. 27 - Oct. 31, 1989.

Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art, Mark Rothko, May 3 - Aug. 16, 1998.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, The Virginia and Bagley Wright Collection of Modern Art, Mar. 4 - May 5, 1999.

Basel, Switzerland, Fondation Beyeler, Mark Rothko, Nov. 1, 2000 - July 7, 2001.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, International Abstraction: Making Painting Real, May 2, 2003 - Feb. 29, 2004.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Contemporary Art from SAM Collection, Mar. 8 - Aug. 17, 2014.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, City of Tomorrow: Jinny Wright and the Art That Shaped a New Seattle, Oct. 23, 2020 - Jan. 18, 2021.
Published References"Collection of Mr. and Mrs. C. Bagley Wright: Twentieth Century American and European Paintings and Sculpture," Portland, OR: Portland Art Museum, Nov. 8-Dec. 6, 1964, no. 49.

Hudson, Andrew. "A 'Freshness of Eye' Wafted in From the West Coast," in The Washington Post, 1966 (date unknown)

"BARNARD COLLECTS: The Educated Eye," Barnard College, New York, 1989, cat. no. 18

Fairbrother, Trevor, "The Virginia and Bagley Wright Collection," Seattle Art Museum in association with University of Washington Press, Seattle and London, 1999, pp. 10-11, 193

"Seattle Art Museum: Bridging Cultures." London: Scala Publishers Ltd. for the Seattle Art Museum, 2007, p. 10, illus. p. 11

Seattle Art Museum respectfully acknowledges that we are on Indigenous land, the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people. We honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future.

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