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Pink and White over Red, 1957

His vast canvases engulf the viewer, inviting contemplation. A leading practitioner of Color Field painting, Rothko arrived at his signature format, represented here by Pink and White over Red, by the late 1940s. Rectangular fields of white and red hover weightlessly over the surface of the canvas. In contrast to many of his peers—like Jackson Pollock, who poured pre-mixed paint directly onto the canvas—Rothko achieved his luminous, shifting swaths of color by adeptly layering thin washes of paint.