Mark Rothko: The Decisive Decade: 1940-1950

The first publication dedicated exclusively to Mark Rothko’s art during the critical formative period of the 1940s. Examining the development and artistic exploration of one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century, this unprecedented volume presents the works of American artist Mark Rothko from the 1940s, a time when his most essential development as a painter occurred, dramatically and in a very compact space of time. During this period, Rothko moved from expressive figurative and surrealist canvases to more abstract multiform subjects and finally to his signature abstractions—luminous rectangles of color suspended in space. Richly illustrated with works by Rothko and his contemporaries, introduction by Todd Herman and essays by prominent Rothko scholars, this important new book deepens our understanding of Rothko’s art during this vital period, and that of the mature works that emerged from it.

About The Author

Todd Herman is the director of the Arkansas Arts Center. David Anfam is an independent scholar in London and the author of the Rothko catalogue raisonné of works on canvas. Modern and contemporary American art scholar Bradford R. Collins is the chair of the University of South Carolina’s art department. Harry Cooper is curator of modern and contemporary art at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Ruth Fine is curator of special projects in modern art at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and the author of the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of Rothko’s works on paper. The son of Mark Rothko, Christopher Rothko is a writer and psychologist.

  • Publish Date: September 11, 2012
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: Art - Individual Artists - General
  • Publisher: Skira Rizzoli
  • Trim Size: 9 x 11
  • Pages: 176
  • US Price: $50.00
  • CDN Price: $52.50
  • ISBN: 978-0-8478-3900-1


"After reading, budding artists of every kind will be inspired to find their own signature style, much like Rothko did."

"The Decisive Decade
…presents Rothko's method of madness, reminiscent of the processes undertaken by Renaissance masters like Titian and Giorgione. The book and exhibit shed light on an oft-overlooked period of Rothko’s artistic career, so we’re glad the decade is finally getting its due.” ~Huffington Post

"Take an expertly curated tour through the artist's early work and influences, and watch as his style evolves..." ~DuJour Magazine

"The book is gorgeously produced.." ~Book News

Author Bookshelf: David Anfam

Author Bookshelf: Ruth Fine

Author Bookshelf: Christopher Rothko