Art critics have talked about the contemplative and mystical undertow of Mark Rothko's large abstract expressionist paintings, and the artist affirmed his intention to convey metaphoric and spiritual meanings through them. We see in Rothko's later works an illustration of the practice of shadow — the duality of light and dark and the meeting of these opposites. InUntitled from 1968, an acrylic on paper, a pool with shades of black is surrounded and intersected by a textured grey border, a metaphoric embrace of the darkness. In Untitled (Black and Gray), done in 1969 - 1970, Rothko gives us two fields of color, meeting each other without recoiling. The viewer is drawn into something that looks simple on the surface yet is actually very weighty and deep. Like the spiritual practice of shadow, this painting takes us into the realm of paradox and mystery.

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