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Biography of Mark Rothko

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b. 1903, Dvinsk, Russia (now Daugavpils, Latvia) | d. 1970 New York

1903
Born Marcus Rothkowitz on September 25.
1910–13
Rothko's family emigrates to the United States and settles in Portland, Oregon.
1921
Graduates Lincoln High School in Portland, Oregon, and enrolls at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, on a scholarship.
1923
Drops out of Yale and moves to New York.
1924
Studies at the Art Students League under Max Weber.
1928
Participates in a group exhibition with Milton Avery and Louis Harris at Opportunity Galleries in New York.
1929
Meets Adolph Gottlieb.
1933
Has his first solo exhibition, at the Portland Art Museum in Portland, Oregon. Exhibits at Contemporary Arts Gallery in New York.
1935
Together with other artists sympathetic to abstraction and expressionism, he founds The Ten, a group whose first show is held at Montrose Gallery in New York.
1936
Meets Barnett Newman. The Ten exhibits at Galerie Bonaparte in Paris.
1938
Becomes a U.S. citizen. The Ten exhibits at Mercury Galleries in New York.
1939
After exhibiting at Bonestell Gallery in New York, The Ten disbands.
1940
Abbreviates his name to Mark Rothko. Begins to work closely with Adolph Gottlieb. Founds, with other artists, the Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors, through which he will exhibit at the World's Fair in New York and on several other occasions in the coming years.
1945
Exhibits at Peggy Guggenheim's Art of This Century in New York and in the Annual Exhibition of Contemporary American Painting at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.
1946
Exhibits at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The exhibition later travels to the Santa Barbara Museum of Art in Santa Barbara, California. 1947
Teaches summer school at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco. Exhibits at Betty Parsons Gallery in New York, where he will show his work on a regular basis in coming years.
1948
With David Hare, William Baziotes, and Robert Motherwell, founds the short-lived Subjects of the Artist school (it was closed the following year).
1950
Travels in Europe.
1951
Begins teaching at Brooklyn College.
1952
Rothko's work is included in the exhibition Fifteen Americans at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
1954
Exhibits at the Art Institute in Chicago. The show later travels to the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence.
1955
Exhibits at Sidney Janis Gallery in New York.
1957
The Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston presents an exhibition of Rothko's work.
1958
Creates a series of murals for the Four Seasons Restaurant in New York. Represents the United States at the XXIX Biennale di Venezia.
1959
Participates in Documenta 2 in Kassel, Germany.
1960
The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., organizes an exhibition of Rothko's work.
1961
A major exhibition of Rothko's work is held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and later travels to London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Basel, Rome, and Paris. Participates in American Abstract Expressionists and Imagists at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.
1962
Creates a series of six murals for Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, only five of which are installed. During remodeling of the hall in which they are installed the following year, the murals will be displayed at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.
1963
Signs an exclusive contract with Marlborough Gallery in New York.
1964
Exhibits at Marlborough Gallery in London. Begins a series of murals for a nondenominational chapel at the University of Saint Thomas in Houston. Participates in Painting and Sculpture of a Decade, 1954–1964 at the Tate Gallery in London.
1965
Receives the Brandeis Creative Arts Awards Medal from Brandeis University.
1966
Participates in Fifty Years of Modern Art: 1916–1966 at the Cleveland Museum of Art and in a traveling exhibition organized by the International Council of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, titled Two Decades of American Painting.
1968
Develops serious heart problems. Named a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters.
1969
Receives an honorary doctorate from Yale University. Founds the Mark Rothko Foundation.
1970
The Tate Gallery in London dedicates a gallery to him. Commits suicide in his studio on February 25.
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