NPR's Pat Dowell looks at the Rothko Chapel and its 40 year history. In addition to the All Things Considered audio podcast, Dowell's web feature also offers podcast interviews with Rothko Chapel Executive Director Emilee Dawn Whitehurst, author Susan Barnes, and Christopher Rothko.
The Rothko Chapel is one of the few places where the work of a single artist defines the space. In his interview with NPR, Christopher Rothko, the artist's son, notes that Rothko was interested in expanding the expressive possibilities of painting through a controlled installation of related works:
"He really wanted to engage his view in something much, much deeper… so he was really pursuing this idea of rooms, of installations, then ultimately with the chapel where he could control almost all parameters to maximize that effect and really have that communication with the viewer, not simply have what I call the.. "drive by effect" in the museum where you see the painting, you sort of note it out of the corner of your eye and then you're on to the next thing."
The Menil Collection is also celebrating the 40th anniversary of The Rothko Chapel with an exhibition of the "alternate" chapel paintings.