Mark Rothko. No. 10. 1950

Mark Rothko

No. 10

1950

Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
7' 6 3/8" x 57 1/8" (229.6 x 145.1 cm)
Credit
Gift of Philip Johnson
Object number
38.1952
Copyright
© 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Department
Painting and Sculpture
This work is not on view.
Mark Rothko has 19 works  online.
There are 2,378 paintings online.

The irregular patches of color characteristic of the artist’s Multiform paintings of 1948 seem to have settled into place on this canvas, which Rothko divided horizontally into three dominant planes of color that softly and subtly merge into one another. Between 1949 and 1950 Rothko simplified the compositional structure of his paintings and arrived at this, his signature style. He explained, "The progression of a painter's work, as it travels in time from point to point, will be toward clarity: toward the elimination of all obstacles between the painter and the idea, and between the idea and the observer." MoMA acquired No. 10 in 1952. The painting—the first by Rothko to enter the collection—was so radical for the time that a trustee of the Museum resigned in protest.

Gallery label from Abstract Expressionist New York, October 3, 2010–April 25, 2011

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA's collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

If you would like to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA, please contact Scala Archives (all geographic locations) at firenze@scalarchives.com.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or moma.org, please email text_permissions@moma.org. If you would like to publish text from MoMA's archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to archives@moma.org.

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to digital@moma.org.