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Saving Abstraction – Morton Feldman, the de Menils, and the Rothko Chapel - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Saving Abstraction: Morton Feldman, the de Menils, and the Rothko Chapel

Ryan Dohoney


Saving Abstraction takes up the conflicted history of Morton Feldman’s most important collaboration—his work with Dominique and John de Menil on music for the Rothko Chapel in Houston. These collaborators struggled over fundamental questions about the emotional efficacy of artistic practice and its potential translation into religious feeling. At the center of this study is the question of ecumenism—that is, in what terms can religious encounters be staged for fruitful dialog to take place? And how might abstraction (both visual and musical) be useful to achieving it? This was a dilemma for Fe ... More

Keywords: Morton Feldman, Dominique de Menil, John de Menil, Mark Rothko, Rothko Chapel, experimental music, Abstract Expressionism, modernism, religious experience

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780190948573
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2019 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190948573.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Ryan Dohoney, author
Associate Professor, Musicology, Northwestern University, Bienen School of Music

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