Mark Rothko, born Marcus Rothkowitz (Latvian: Marks Rotko, September 25, 1903 - February 25, 1970), was a Latvian-born American painter and printmaker. He is classified as an abstract expressionist, although he himself rejected this label, and even resisted the classification as an 'abstract painter'. In New York, Rothko enrolled in the New School of Design, where one of his instructors was the artist Arshile Gorky. This was probably his first encounter with a member of the "avant-garde". That autumn, he took courses at the Art Students League of New York taught by still-life artist Max Weber. Rothko's move to New York established him in a fertile atmosphere for the experience of art from all cultures and periods.