3900 Yupon Street
Houston, Harris County, Texas, 77006
Photo: License: Public Domain
The Rothko Chapel is a non-denominational chapel in Houston, Texas, founded by John and Dominique de Menil. The interior serves not only as a chapel, but also as a major work of modern art.
On its walls are fourteen black but color-hued paintings by Mark Rothko. The shape of the building, an octagon inscribed in a Greek cross, and the design of the chapel was largely influenced by the artist.
In 1964 Rothko was commissioned by John and Dominique de Menil to create a meditative space filled with his paintings. The works are site-specific, one of the requirements of the program. Ultimately he did not live to see the chapel's completion in 1971. After a long struggle with depression, Rothko died by suicide in his New York studio on February 25, 1970.
The chapel is an irregular octagonal brick building with gray or rose stucco walls and a skylight.
It serves as a place of meditation as well as a meeting hall and is furnished with eight simple, moveable benches for meditative seating; more are provided to accommodate the audience for special events. Holy books from several religions are available.
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