It’s been 50 years since the 1971 opening of the Rothko Chapel in Houston, its walls graced with Mark Rothko’s 14 black paintings, works of profound silence and sentience. In a 1966 letter to his patrons, John and Dominique de Menil, Rothko wrote that the chapel commission “is teaching me to extend myself beyond what I thought was possible for me.” To this day, the space is a transcendent sanctuary that welcomes people of all religions and backgrounds. To celebrate the chapel’s anniversary, the Moody Center for the Arts presents an exhibition that’s divided into two sections. The first recreates a 1975 exhibition called “Marden, Novros, Rothko: Painting in the Age of Actuality,” while the second looks to the future, highlighting how contemporary artists—among them Sam Gilliam, Sheila Hicks, Shirazeh Houshiary, and Byron Kim—have been influenced by the nondenominational chapel. —E.C.
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