Mark Rothko. Slow Swirl at the Edge of the Sea. 1944

Mark Rothko Slow Swirl at the Edge of the Sea 1944

  • MoMA, Floor 4, 401 The David Geffen Galleries

Slow Swirl at the Edge of the Sea pictures two creatures dancing between sea and sky, surrounded by arabesques, spirals, and stripes. The forms “have no direct association with any particular visible experience, but in them one recognizes the principle and passion of organisms,” Rothko said. For him art was “an adventure into an unknown world”; like the Surrealists before him, Rothko looked inward, to his own unconscious mind, for inspiration and material for his work.

Gallery label from Abstract Expressionist New York, October 3, 2010-April 25, 2011
Additional text

Mark Rothko called this painting Slow Swirl at the Edge of the Sea. Do you see anything in this painting that reminds of you of the seaside? Rothko painted this scene from his imagination because, for him, art was “an adventure into an unknown world.” If you were going to make a picture of an imaginary world, what would you include?

Gallery label from For Kids, 2019
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
6' 3 3/8" x 7' 3/4" (191.4 x 215.2 cm)
Credit
Bequest of Mrs. Mark Rothko through The Mark Rothko Foundation, Inc.
Object number
429.1981
Copyright
© 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Department
Painting and Sculpture

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