[Riverside Drive Viaduct, New York]

17 3/4 x 13 3/4 in. (45.1 x 34.9 cm)
Lower right in graphite: M[Rothkowit]z; on original mat, lower right in graphite: MRothkowitz
Estate/Inventory Number
National Gallery of Art, Gift of The Mark Rothko Foundation, Inc., 1986.43.190. © Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko
This is a view north along Twelfth Avenue beneath the Riverside Drive Viaduct. Completed in 1900, the viaduct spans the Manhattan Valley between Tiemann Place and 135th Street, connecting Harlem and Washington Heights. From late 1924 or early 1925 to the autumn of 1926, Rothko rented a room in the apartment of the Goreff family, distant relatives of his mother, at 19 West 102nd Street, less than two miles from the viaduct. The drawing was likely made during this period. Aside from eliminating a sequence of crossbeams mounted atop each of the viaduct’s twenty-six arched girders, Rothko’s drawing is an accurate document of the structure (fig. 1). Signed and matted, this is possibly the drawing that Rothko exhibited in 1933 at Contemporary Arts in New York as “no. 23, Riverside Drive.”
[Riverside Drive Viaduct, New York]
1. Berenice Abbott, Under the Riverside Drive Viaduct, 125th Street at 12th Avenue, Manhattan, 1937. The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library.