Moody Center for the Arts' spring season celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Rothko Chapel
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Moody Center for the Arts' spring season celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Rothko Chapel
Sam Gilliam, installation view featuring Five Pyramids, 2020, wood, aluminum, die-stain and lacquer (foreground) and Washi Paper – Purple/Black, Washi Paper – Green and Washi Paper – Green/Gold, 2020 (background, left to right). Acrylic on washi paper. Courtesy of the artist and Pace Gallery © 2021 Sam Gilliam / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

HOUSTON, TX.- Alison Weaver, the Suzanne Deal Booth Executive Director, announced today that the Moody Center for the Arts’ spring program will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Rothko Chapel by presenting a unique group exhibition and original programs in recognition of this important milestone in the history of Houston and the arts at Rice. The season will honor the legacy of John and Dominique de Menil by highlighting the influence the Rothko Chapel has had on both artists and the public since opening in 1971, with special acknowledgement of the exhibition Marden, Novros, Rothko: Painting in the Age of Actuality mounted at Rice University in 1975.

“Dominique and John de Menil had a vision for Houston, as symbolized by the Rothko Chapel, that has resonated with generations of artists. After 50 years, the Chapel remains a powerful source of inspiration for creators around the globe, not only from an aesthetic point of view but also from a humanistic one,” explains Associate Curator Frauke V. Josenhans.

Titled Artists and the Rothko Chapel: 50 Years of Inspiration, the exhibition will be on view from January 22 – May 15, 2021, in the Moody’s Brown Foundation, Central and Media Galleries, as well as outdoors under the Pitman Oculus. Organized in two sections, the first section will restage the historic exhibition Marden, Novros, Rothko: Painting in the Age of Actuality organized at the Institute for the Arts at Rice University by Harris Rosenstein with the support of Dominique de Menil in 1975. The original works by Marden and Novros will be reunited for the first time since 1975, recreating the immersive experience that viewers had upon first seeing them installed at Rice.

The second section of the exhibition will highlight recent works by contemporary artists of different ages, nationalities and backgrounds as a means of exploring the wide-reaching influence of the non-denominational Chapel and the enduring nature of its legacy through various media and aesthetics. The featured artists are Sam Gilliam, Sheila Hicks, Shirazeh Houshiary, and Byron Kim.

Connecting the past with the present, Artists and the Rothko Chapel will not solely place the Rothko Chapel in its historic context, but will also offer new perspectives by including contemporary artists for whom the Chapel has been a generative source of inspiration that deeply nourishes their own practice. By presenting these artists together for the first time, and in the context of the Chapel’s 50th anniversary, visitors will have the opportunity to see these artists, as well the Chapel, in a new light.

Artists and the Rothko Chapel: 50 Years of Inspiration will be accompanied by a full color catalogue to be published in the spring of 2021.

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