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The first publication dedicated exclusively to Mark Rothkos 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 abstractionsluminous 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 Rothkos art during this vital period, and that of the mature works that emerged from it.