Material aspects of Mark Rothkos Seagram mural paintings
Materials research has demonstrated that Rothko was not using artists oil paints for the Seagram Murals. Instead he employed several kinds of solvent carried synthetic paints that were used as house paints or in industry. He mixed the pigments and dyes to obtain the desired colors and gave these paints sufficient transparency to show the brushwork. Rothko used colored egg and dammar resin-based glazes to modify the surface gloss of some design elements in these paintings. Rothko developed a specific form and color language for the Seagram Murals that allowed the creation of a great variety of figure features in the ensemble. It is unfortunate that he felt compelled to withdraw from the commission when he realized that his paintings would serve as mundane decoration in an eatery"". Consequently we will never know how he envisaged the ensemble created for the Seagram Building.
Boon, J. J. (2009). Material aspects of Mark Rothkos Seagram mural paintings. Desipientia, 16, 23–28.