He nevertheless applies one of the prescriptions : to avoid fatigue, he limits the format of his paintings to 40 inches high. He now uses acrylic on a paper to be mounted on a canvas. Having lost his illusions about using his art to convey an emotional message, he explores the possibilities of his new technique in a quest of glowing light.
In this period lasting less than two years before the final disaster, Rothko once again reaches the sublime by making a brilliant light gushing through saturated colors. Although his colors become increasingly dark in the follow of the worsening of his depression, he feels how transcendental his art is. He gradually returns to larger sizes and to oils on canvas.
On October 6 in London, Christie's sells an acrylic 182 x 98 cm dated May 21, 1969, lot 40 estimated £ 4M. The provenance of this artwork is impeccable : it was purchased in 1997 by Antoni Tapies to the daughter of the artist.
This untitled opus is extraordinary in its opposition with his fall into the dark. The yellow center bordered at top and bottom by orange blocks is a tribute to pure light and maybe also a very brief return to optimism like a high point in a cyclothymia.
A ultimate completion of that phase, oil on canvas 175 x 137 cm in dark green on indigo painted a few weeks before his suicide, was sold for $ 40M including premium by Sotheby's on November 10, 2014.