Well, it turns out that my visit to the modern art at the National Gallery of Art has gripped me and simply won’t let go (and not only Rothko and Pollock). My friend Matt and I have continued (independently) to reflect and research not only these paintings but others we saw too.
After reading my blog post, a friend from back home shared the link below with me. After our reflections, to see Rothko’s paintings creating a reflective and prayerful space really shouldn’t be surprising, yet it was and it looks wonderful.
The Rothko Chapel was dedicated in 1971 as an intimate sanctuary available to people of every belief. Described as a tranquil meditative environment inspired by the mural canvases of Russian born American painter Mark Rothko (1903-1970), the Chapel welcomes over 80,000 visitors each year, people of every faith and from all parts of the world. The Rothko Chapel is a sacred place open to all people, every day.
The Chapel regularly makes top ten lists of places to visit, and is a featured entry in National Geographic’s book Sacred Places of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Most Peaceful and Powerful Destinations, published in 2009.
The Chapel has two vocations: contemplation and action. It is a place alive with religious ceremonies of all faiths, and where the experience and understanding of all traditions are encouraged and made available. Action takes the form of supporting human rights, and thus the Chapel has become a rallying place for all people concerned with peace, freedom, and social justice throughout the world.
The mission of the Rothko Chapel is to inspire people to action through art and contemplation, to nurture reverence for the highest aspirations of humanity, and to provide a forum for global concerns.
I did not know about this chapel before visiting the art gallery, and after spending time in front of the Rothko paintings and the discussions they sparked, the Rothko Chapel is now somewhere I would love to visit.
My friend also wrote a blog post reflecting on our visit to the Art Gallery. To read it follow the link. It gives further insight to our discussions and as my friend Matt says, our blog reflections can be seen as “two bookends to one encounter”.
I look forward to our continuing discussions and discoveries, and I hope in the future to find an opportunity to study further, faith/religion/the Bible in art.