Green, Red, Blue

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Mark Rothko (American, b. Russia, 1903–1970)
Green, Red, Blue, 1955
Oil on canvas
81 1/2 × 77 3/4 in. (207.01 × 197.49 cm)
Gift of Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley M1977.140
© 2008 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Currently on View

Russian-born artist Mark Rothko became one of the leaders of the New York School’s first generation of Abstract Expressionists. Like his colleagues Newman, Still, and Gottlieb, Rothko sought to communicate deep emotion through fields of color rather than the gestural drama of Pollock, de Kooning, and Kline. By 1950, the date of this painting, Rothko had developed his compositional format of colored rectangles hovering against a framing background. Despite the unbroken opacity of the forms, their delicate edges and brushy surface generate a sense of transitory existence – of continual emergence and recession. The high-keyed works of the early 1950s gave way to increasingly dark, sonorous paintings that evoke tragedy on a grand scale. Their transcendent nobility did not prevent the artist from giving way to his own depression and ending his life in 1970.

Publication History
Burner, Alan McManus. Color Choreography: Foundational Studies, Investigations,l and Discours in Color Theory. Australia: Cengage Learning, 2008.

Milwaukee Art Museum News, October 2005, no page number, color illus.

Andera, Margaret, Nonie Gadsden, Britt Salvesen, and Laurie Winters. Collection Guide: Milwaukee Art Museum. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Milwaukee Art Museum, 2004, pp. 53, 72, cat. 87, color illus. p. 53.

Milwaukee Art Museum. Building a Masterpiece: Milwaukee Art Museum. New York: Hudson Hill Press, 2001, p. 152, color illus.

Weiss, Jeffrey, Mark Rothko. National Gallery of Art, 1998. Illustration p. 153, color, plate 70.

Connaissance des Arts, Special issue published on occasion of the exhibition organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1998. Illustration p. 34, color.

Brain Trust Inc., ed. 20th-Century Masters from the Milwaukee Art Museum, exhibition catalogue. Isetan Museum of Art, Tokyo (July 2–August 9. 1994); Matsuzakaya Art Museum, Nagoya (August 11–September 4, 1994); Hokkaido Asahikawa Museum of Art (September 10–October 16, 1994); Daimaru Museum, Umeda-Osaka, Osaka (October 19–November 7, 1994); Chiba Sogo Museum of Art (November 26–December 29, 1994); Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art (January 14–February 26, 1995), 1994. p. 109, pl. 51, color.

Milwaukee Art Museum. The Jewish Contribution in Twentieth-Century Art: Selections from the Permanent Collection. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Milwaukee Art Museum, 1993, p. 54, no. 98, color illus. p. 15.

Rothko, Christopher & Rothko-Prizel, Kate. Contemporary Great Masters; Mark Rothko, Tokyo: Kodansha, Ltd, 1993. New York, NY & SPDA, Tokyo; 1993. color, Illustration Figure #28.

Tate Gallery. Mark Rothko: 1903-1970, London: Tate Gallery, 1987, credit line p. 186, catalogue list #53, color reproduction p. 142.

Goldstein, Rosalie, ed. Guide to the Permanent Collection. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Milwaukee Art Museum, 1986, p. 203, color illus. p. 203.

Milwaukee Art Center. Personal Selections from the Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley Collection. New Orleans: Bradley Family Foundation, 1975, color illus. p. 92.

Milwaukee Art Center. The Collection of Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Milwaukee Art Center, 1968, cat. 22, color illus. p. 27.

Atkinson, Tracy. Wisconsin Collects, Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Arrow Press, 1964, p. 8, cat. 60.
Exhibition History
Mark Rothko, Fundacio joan Miro, Barcelona, November 23, 2000–January 28, 2000; Fondation Beyeler, Basel, Switzerland, February 18 –April 29, 2001.

Mark Rothko, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. May 3–August 16, 1998; The Whitney Museum of American Art, September 10–November 29, 1998. (Note: The exhibition had a third venue at the Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris January 8, 1999 –April 18, 1999, but this work was not included in the Paris venue.)

The Jewish Contribution in Twentieth Century Art: Selections from the Permanent Collection, Milwaukee Art Museum, November 19, 1993–January 9, 1994.

20th Century Masters from the Milwaukee Art Museum, Isetan Museum of Art, Tokyo, July 2 –August 9, 1994; Matsuzakaya Art Museum, Nagoya, August 11–September 4, 1994; Hokkaido Asahikawa Museum of Art, Asahikawa, September 10–October 16, 1994; Daimaru Museum, Umeda-Osaka, October 19–November 7, 1994; Chiba Sogo Museum of Art, Chiba, November 26 –December 29, 1994; Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art, Marugame January 14–February 26, 1995.

Mark Rothko: 1903-1970, Tate Gallery, London, June 17–August 31, 1987.

The Collection of Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley, Milwaukee Art Center, October 25, 1968–February 23, 1969.

Wisconsin Collects, Milwaukee Art Center, September 24, 1964–October 25, 1964.


This information is subject to change as the result of ongoing research.