Mark Rothko, No. 3 and No. 21: A Comparative Analysis
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Honors paper submitted for: ART 1019: Modernist Impulse in Art, Architecture and Design
Mark Rothko’s works No. 3 and No. 21 portray abstract figures and themes. While neither painting is meant to depict anything directly, No. 21 was possibly inspired by The Red Studio, painted by Henri Matisse. As Rothko said himself regarding The Red Studio, “When you looked at that painting, you became that color, you became totally saturated with it” (The Met, No. 21). The same can be said about No. 21, which is similarly a fully red canvas with other bodies floating within it. Both pieces are made in a style where nothing is clearly defined. Rather, the usage of pigmentation on the canvas incoherently creates its style. Both are created in the abstract style. Neither painting is limited to a single understanding, and the deeper meaning of the works is purely subjective and based on each independent viewer’s biases.
Ben Simon, N. (2022, May 12). Mark Rothko, No. 3 and No. 21: A Comparative Analysis. Honors paper submitted for ART1019, Yeshiva University.
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