Rothko was commissioned to paint murals for the Manhattan restaurant The Four Seasons in 1958. Concerned that most of the patrons were likely going to be snobs, he resolved to paint a piece that would disrupt their dining experience, according to the Harper’s article “Mark Rothko: Portrait Of The Artist As An Angry Man.”
Over the course of a year, he painted 30+ pieces for a space that had room for only seven. Rothko ended up changing his mind and kept the pieces. Even so, the series is titled after the building where the restaurant is located.
In this food-inspired epilogue to the tale, Levin and Hargreaves channeled Rothko’s energy by making coconut rice and dying it different colors during their 3-day project.