American, born Latvia, 1903–1970
No. 73 is an example of Mark Rothko’s mature style and displays his successful development of stacked rectangles and muted colors. From a profound desire to express “the big emotions—tragedy, ecstasy, doom,” he investigated multiple painting techniques and materials.
For Rothko, the abandonment of specific imagery allowed for a poetic, universal evocation of intangible subjects, inspired by so-called primitive art and mythology. In his mature work, glowing and hovering fields of color pull the viewer in, inviting a sense of absorption.