On 31 May, the Rothko Museum will open its summer exhibition season

  • 2024-05-24

At 4 p.m. on Friday, 31 May, the Rothko Museum will open its Summer Season featuring artists from Latvia, the UK and China. The exhibition offer will include “Seasons of the Soul” by Karin Lambrecht, a Brazilian painter, sculptor and graphic artist currently based in the UK. Her exhibition theme of spiritual seeking will tie with the “Dimensions of Time” by Inese Brants, one of Latvia’s most distinguished porcelain artists. The Latvian presence will continue with a sweeping group show “Dear figure, whom did you hang out with last night?”, where artists will interpret the human figure and reflect on its symbolic and communicative connotations. Visitors will also experience “Back and Forth: The Art of Tan Ping” by one of China’s leading abstractionists. The Summer Season’s exhibition will be on show through 25 August. 

“Dimensions of Time”: the anniversary exhibition of Inese Brants

The Summer Season at the Rothko museum celebrates Inese Brants, one of Latvia’s most remarkable cotemporary ceramicists. In “Dimensions of Time”, the artist presents painted porcelain objects made by blending modern technologies and contemporary shapes with elements of timeworn found materials, taking the viewer on a journey across the dimensions of time into a point of connection where present, past and future overlap. Brants pays a heartfelt and creative tribute to the Latvian cultural heritage and the largely forgotten decaling tradition of the former Rīga Porcelain Factory’s creative laboratory. Essentially, her artworks contemplate our values and pursuits, the war and independence struggles.

The experienced artist continues to nurture the Latvian porcelain painting tradition – creates new artworks, publishes research-based books on porcelain décor technologies and teaches porcelain painting to children, thus building the future of Latvian porcelain art. Her contribution to the discipline is impactful and meaningful beyond measure.

Karin Lambrecht’s meditations in “Seasons of the Soul”

“Seasons of the Soul” by Karin Lambrecht, a pioneering artist of Latin America’s 1980s generation, stand out with vibrant pigments the artist produces herself and expertly combines with organic materials, including rainwater, earth, animal blood and honey. The artist’s theme is nature: “sky”, “rain”, “sun”, “house”, “garden”, “bone”, and “sea” appear throughout her images as abstract impressions and handwritten enigmatic words. By turning things into words and nature into chromatic space, she establishes a fresh relationship between the self and the cosmos – large and small, the one and the many, between painting and language.

Lambrecht’s work incorporates recurring motifs, including cooper crosses, which appear in different forms, indicating a search for the sacred. Paradoxically, the artist denies her interest in religion and religious institutions as she explores the spaces between religious and secular aesthetics. Her work is held in many significant international collections.

“Dear figure, whom did you hang out with last night?” by a group of Latvian artists

Curator Inga Šteimane has put together a thought-provoking exhibition by a group of Latvian artists whose work revolves around the human figure. The exhibition features figures in cast bronze, ceramics and fur, illustrations, paintings and film. It juxtaposes AI-generated figures with fantastic images born in the human imagination and confirms: despite the influence of abstraction, Latvian contemporary art still has plenty of figures, and they clearly resemble humans.

To quote from the curator, Inga Šteimane: “The figure was the starting point for representational practice when art was claiming its nascent territory on cave walls. It’s been a vessel for symbolic meanings since antiquity. Today, the figure remains at the heart of every classical art course teaching the basics of drawing, forever standing, sitting or reclining in art students’ work. At the same time, a deluge of technologies and concepts is flooding the landscape of art and pushing the figure from centre stage to the margins. The figure branches out and migrates. The figure masquerades, provokes, puts up a fight, and self-destructs. It has withstood deformation and denial by modernism and evolved from the whole to the fragment, from antique holism to psychoanalytical schism. Eventually, it has been politicised, becoming a sociological record, material evidence in political battles. In this display, the figure is in the author’s and viewer’s purview.”

Featured artists: Diāna Adamaite, Kristaps Ancāns, Arnis Balčus, Aigars Bikše, Kristians Brekte, Sigita Daugule, Roberts Diners un Lilija Dinere, Kristaps Epners, Miķelis Fišers, Gints Gabrāns, Ieva Iltnere, Jānis Mitrēvics, Ernests Kļaviņš, Plastic Afterlife (Kristians Aglonietis, Patrīcija Māra Vilsone) & Agate Tūna, Krišs Salmanis, Sabīne Vernere, Evelīna Vida and Paula Zvane.

When East meets West: “Back and Forth: The Art of Tan Ping”

Being deeply influenced by Chinese traditional Zen culture and Western minimalism, Tan Ping is successfully mixing the grammars of Chinese and European art, making something compelling from the language of German expressionism and of the Chinese aesthetic and philosophical tradition of ‘less is more’. His creative evolution has been strongly influenced by Mark Rothko, so the meeting of both artists at the Rothko Museum’s exhibition space is no coincidence.

“In contrast to the rational, geometric compositions often found in the works of other abstract painters, Rothko’s canvases not only visually captivate but also possess the ability to evoke strong emotions and touch the hearts of viewers. His red and blue blocks create a profound, almost religious atmosphere that leaves observers transfixed, drawing them in with an irresistible power. However, unlike Rothko, my works do not have any fixed centres. Viewers can choose any random spot in front of my canvases, and that spot becomes the focal point. The centre will shift along with the viewer’s motion. This explains why some of my paintings are extremely wide and saturated with details that the viewers need to invest time to discover. In my opinion, this feature also reflects the divergence in artistic perspectives between the East and the West.” Such is the artist’s commentary on Rothko’s inspirational impact.

The Rothko Museum’s summer season’s exhibitions are available from 31 May till 25 August. On opening day, following the official unveiling, admission to the museum is free of charge.

Supporters: State Culture Capital Foundation, Daugavpils City Council, Devona, Caparol, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Republic of Latvia, Galeria Nara Roesler São Paulo, Amanda Wei Art Consultancy Limited, and Valmiermuiža.