Modern in Houston

Rothko Chapel Photo 2008 by Jason Smith

The Rothko Chapel
Architect: Barnstone and Aubry
1409 Sul Ross

The Rothko Chapel is a meditative space and ecumenical center built by John and Dominique de Menil. Within the chapel are 14 paintings by the abstract expressionist painter, Mark Rothko. The architecture of the building itself is interesting because it was designed to create as little attention to itself as possible. The de Menils began with Philip Johnson as their architect, but Rothko and Johnson could not agree on the plan. This and other issues resulted in a two year hiatus for the implementation of building the chapel. Howard Barnstone and Eugene Aubry were then brought in to carry out the building. Barnett Newman’s sculpture “Broken Obelisk” was installed in the reflection pool as a memorial to Martin Luther King, Jr.
Text and Photo by Jason Smith

Rothko Chapel Website
back to main list