PaperCity Magazine


Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 104 of 195

Rothko painting that moves you. A 1963 work at the Kunsthaus Zürich. It is four black rectangles on a black background, yet each sings out with a unique voice. Above the uppermost black rectangle is a band of creamy, almost fleshy white. It softens anything forbidding about the painting and fills it with light. Do you live with your father's work? Yes. Do you collect contemporary art? I love art, and from time to time I buy things that move me, but I have no i n v o l v e m e n t with the market and the names or any isms. Hometown. Personal stats. Manhattan. Married 28 years. Three kids. Take us back to the beginning of the Rothko Chapel — the anecdote about John de Menil coming up with the idea while stuck in Houston traffic? The story has come down to me that John de Menil's moment of epiphany arose when he was stalled during rush hour. He believed that what was needed was a place for respite, for contemplation. A sacred space that would help people move away from the mundane — such as traffic — to deeper things. Is it true your father took over as architect after Philip Johnson left the project? That evolution happened over a number of years, but it is in essence true. Philip was very responsive, even when reluctant, to my father's vision for the Chapel — the octagon, the simplicity, the apse for the north triptych. They could not agree, however, about the ceiling height, skylighting and (lack) of tower, and Philip left the project when the de Menils supported my father. The firm of Barnstone and Aubry helped realize my father's plan, allowing further simplifications so that we have today an unimpeded ground level experience of my father's murals. The Rothko Chapel was originally planned to serve the Catholic faith; when did this change to become nondenominational? In the late 1960s, before the actual construction. Do your father's paintings allude subtly to the Stations of the Cross? There is no explicit discussion of this, but he knew he was [originally] creating a Catholic Chapel, and the 14 panels seem an unlikely coincidence. Christopher Rothko appears at Texas Design Week Dallas for a salon talk, cocktails, and book signing of the new Rothko Chapel: An Oasis for Reflection on Wednesday, September 22, 5:30 to 7:30 pm, at Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek. Dallas Art Fair's John Sughrue chairs. TXDW is a ticketed event. Tickets and complete schedule, Rothko Chapel 50th Anniversary Gala, Saturday November 6, in Houston; tickets The artist and his son, Christopher, circa 1968 Rothko Chapel Plaza with Barnett Newman's Broken Mark Rothko's No. 10, 1958, realized nearly $82 million at Christie's May 13, 2015. CHRISTIE'S © 2013 KATE ROTHKO PRIZEL AND CHRISTOPHER ROTHKO © PAUL HESTER 103

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of PaperCity Magazine - PaperCity_Dallas_September_2021