A Russian-American painter classified as an abstract expressionist, Mark Rothko rejected the label. Born in what is now Latvia, he emigrated with his parents in 1913. His first job was in New York’s garment district. Visiting a friend at the Art Students League of New York, he had what he later described as a “beginning.” Following an attempt in drama, he moved to art and courses at the Art Students League. His first one-man show was in 1929, with his first show in New York City soon thereafter. He became a U.S. citizen in 1938.