Abstract artist Mark Rothko was influenced by several modern schools, including Cubism and Surrealism, but he eventually abandoned their ideals. He instead came to consider himself a mythmaker, especially after reading works by Freud, Jung, Mann, Joyce, Nietzche, and Frazer.
Mark Rothko’s abstract art attempted to illustrate how myth and archetypes affected people today. As his work grew more abstract, he increasingly focused on light and color over form. Eventually, he only referred to his paintings by number, as well, since he felt titles limited the viewer’s understanding. In 1945, Peggy Guggenheim mounted a one-person show at her gallery with Mark Rothko painting’s prices ranging from $150 to $750 — a far cry from the millions they demand today.