Untitled (Purple, White, and Red), Mark Rothko, 1953
From the Art Institute of Chicago:
Untitled (Purple, White, and Red) follows the characteristic format of Mark Rothko’s mature work, in which stacked rectangles of color appear to float within the boundaries of the canvas. By directly staining the canvas with many thin washes of pigment and paying particular attention to the edges where the fields interact, he achieved the effect of light radiating from the image itself. This technique suited Rothko’s metaphysical aims: to offer painting as a doorway into purely spiritual realms, making it as immaterial and evocative as music, and to directly communicate the most essential, raw forms of human emotion.