Go to Polygence Scholars page
Michael Sun's cover illustration
Polygence Scholar2022
Michael Sun's profile

Michael Sun

Barrington High SchoolClass of 2023South Barrington, IL



  • "Mark Rothko: A Psychological Analysis Using Art and Biography" with mentor Shirlynn (Sept. 3, 2022)

Project Portfolio

Mark Rothko: A Psychological Analysis Using Art and Biography

Started May 23, 2022

Portfolio item's cover image

Abstract or project description

In this research paper, I analyzed the psychological condition of Abstract Expressionist Mark Rothko by interweaving analysis of three of his paintings and important life events that may have caused the deterioration of his mental health. I conducted formal analysis on three of Rothko's significant paintings, those three being Untitled (1942), No. 9 (1949), and Untitled (Black and Gray). I performed extensive research on Rothko's biography and life events, and incorporated my analysis of his artwork in order to make new claims in terms of the impact that certain events had on him. At the end of the paper, I put forth three possible reasons that he committed suicide: early prejudice and childhood adversity, which caused an early onset of chronic depression; the deaths of his parents, which caused a significant and lasting psychological impact; and finally, physical health issues that proved too much for him to handle in his later years.