In keeping with the restrictions and safety measures decreed by the government, as of May 16, Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Centre will open its doors to visitors with six temporary exhibitions and a permanent exhibit featuring original works by artist Mark Rothko.
During the two-month period when emergency situation was first announced and then further extended, Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Centre continued to operate. Curators worked on new art projects while the historical artillery arsenal building gained a new breath of life. Now, the centre is ready to open its doors to art-thirsty yet understanding and responsible visitors, mindful of the current situation. Like every spring, visitors can enjoy the juried exhibition of artists from Latgale region, this time with the title “Inside Out”. From the inside out is a road that everyone follows throughout the entire course their life. Understanding the comprehensible and comprehending the understandable are the travel forms of the human spirit through which it moves further and further away from its source and approaches the great unknown. All peoples at all times have had many names for the milestones along this road, but, at base, it has always been and remains a progression from material to spiritual realm, from humanity to divinity. The exhibition features artwork in different media by 58 artists from Latgale region.
The exhibition “Two Summits” is a meeting of two excellences in a single art space. Painter Silva Linarte (1939-2018) and ceramicist Pēteris Martinsons (1931-2014) both carried the code of Latgale, which programmed each for greatness through a natural talent for the arts and educational work and an inexhaustible resolve to keep on trying and scaling ever-new creative heights. As the organisers were thinking how to describe these two seemingly different artists, facts and figures seemed to fade into the background. It felt reasonable to assume that these two locally affiliated artists, one born in the city of Daugavpils, the other in Daugavpils region, were so renowned both nationally and internationally that key milestones of their personal and creative biographies did not need repeating. Instead, the organisers were more interested in searching for similarities and character-building points of intersection in their individual life stories.
Another project on display this season is an exhibition of artwork from the Rothko Centre collection by Daugavpils-born American artist, Sigurds Vīdzirkste, presented with the title “Beyond Time”. Much like other émigré artists, the work of New York’s artist Vīdzirkste was virtually unknown in Latvia until late 20th century. His individual style and technique, underpinned by the laws of cybernetics and the artist’s knowledge in various fields beyond art, developed in the early 1960s. Vīdzirkste made a lasting contribution to the development of abstract painting and may rightly be considered the pioneer of cybernetic painting in the U.S.
Since the previous exhibition season was cut short, visiting time for a few of its exhibitions has been extended. These include “Romas Viesulas. Graphic Art” from the collection of Lithuanian Art Museum, “Skin of Appearance” by Romanian ceramic artist Delia Maxim and the exhibition of the 9th international Latgale graphic art symposium. Visitors are advised to assess the state of their health and refrain from visiting the centre if they experience symptoms of an infectious disease or if they have been mandated self-isolation. Management also encourages visitors to settle with cards and limit cash payments, keep a 2-metre distance from others as well as wash and sanitise their hands before entering the exhibition halls.
The exhibitions are available until 14 June 2020. Meanwhile, the group exhibition of artists from Latgale region, “Inside Out”, and “Two Summits” by Silva Linarte and Pēteris Martinsons are on display until 25 October.
By opening its doors to the public, the Rothko Centre enters a joint public information campaign by Latvia’s museums, #SeeYouNow. Under this campaign, bright yellow signs and notices in uniform design, made in keeping with the stipulations of the national sanitary protocol, will be placed on museum premises inviting visitors to take the necessary steps to ensure a safe visiting experience for themselves and others. The campaign is organised by members of the Latvian Museum Association. For additional details, please visit the website muzeji.lv.