Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sacred Space: Rothko Chapel

Let's make a pilgrimage to the Rothko Chapel. It's in Houston, Texas, but let's just travel by spirit.

While Rothko drew from Christian symbols, such as a triptych to represent the crucifixion and the octagonal shape to represent a basilica, I love how the space is open to any spiritual pilgrim.

I love the dark, rich colors of the canvases. Are the viewers being invited to confront their souls, the vast unknown, the mystery of the other?

Number 8, Black Form Paintings, Mark Rothko

I, for one, find these paintings surprisingly comforting and peaceful.

(A word of advice: if you visit the chapel in person, try to go on a day with lots of light—the paintings in the chapel depend on natural light, like the stained glass windows of older cathedrals.)

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