In 2008, the Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas, invited Somoroff to place his majestic sculptural installation, Illumination I on the grounds. Somoroff was the first artist to be invited to install a work on the grounds since the chapel’s dedication in 1971 and its only addition since Barnet Newman’s Broken Obelisk was placed there some 30 years prior. The multimedia work ultimately included video installations, photography and even a specially commissioned musical score by composer Robert Rich. His starting point for the sculpture was not the chapel itself, but the diffused light that was shuttered upon the chapel’s opening because of the damage to Rothko’s paintings. The finished sculpture depicts frozen rays of light, bleeding through the ruins of a composite destroyed mosque during the War in Iraq that Somoroff placed at the identical location of where the chapel sits today in virtual space.

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