From 22 to 28 April, the Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Centre will celebrate its tenth anniversary with concerts, exhibitions and a new display of original paintings by the world-renowned artist Mark Rothko.
In April, it will be ten years since an ambitious cultural project was completed in the former artillery arsenal of Daugavpils Fortress – the historical structure built for army needs in 1833 was repurposed into a home for the newly established Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Centre – a multifunctional hub for art, culture and education and a strategic landmark on Latvia’s regional cultural map.
The Rothko Centre was officially opened on 24 April 2013, but it took a massive group effort from multiple stakeholders to make it happen and materialise the idea first voiced in the distant 2002 about a unique tribute to the world-renowned artist Mark Rothko, perhaps the greatest native of Daugavpils. This milestone event opened new opportunities for the Latvian viewer to see Mark Rothko’s original paintings worth millions of dollars, which remains possible due to strong cooperation ties with the artist’s family. The display is updated every few years, so the past decade has already given the viewers a total of seventeen Rothko originals.
Besides Rothko, the centre offers up to 30 exceptional exhibition projects per annum in solo and group show formats, tracing current trends and developments in the work of regionally, domestically and internationally based artists. The centre hosts international symposiums and residencies, maintaining a growing network of friendships, partnerships and connections with creators, institutions and venues in Europe and beyond. All these efforts contribute to a strong international profile for Daugavpils and Latvia, giving the city and the country broad visibility and a solid competitive edge on the global cultural scene.
In the first decade since its establishment, the Rothko Centre has acquired an impressive art collection of great material and immaterial value on national and international scales. The acquisitions are due to the centre’s dynamic cultural programme, targeted donations from individual artists and generous support from patrons of the arts. Choice artworks from the collection are featured in permanent displays on the Rothko Centre’s premises and frequently shown in other cultural venues in Daugavpils, Latvia and beyond.
The anniversary programme will start on 22 April with the piano concert “Allusions” by AnNo – a creative duo of Normuds and Antra Vīksne, laureates of the Latvian National Grand Prix for Music. The day will continue with a focus on ceramics. Visitors can look forward to the opening of several exhibitions and open-air objects of contemporary ceramics and the unveiling of a new open-access storage facility for the Rothko Centre’s contemporary ceramics collection in the freshly renovated 7th Bastion casemates of Daugavpils Fortress. All these events will mark the first anniversary of the latest structural addition to the Rothko Centre – the Martinsons House for contemporary ceramics, which opened its doors to the public in April 2022.
On 23 April, the chamber hall of the Rothko Centre will keep reverberating with piano music. Andrejs Osokins, one of Latvia’s most popular piano virtuosos with broad international fame, will give a recital of the 19th-century star composer Frédéric Chopin. Meanwhile, in Rīga, Dailes Theatre will receive a customised exhibition project with an intriguing title – “Rothko, made in Latvia”.
On 26 April, the anniversary celebration will spill outside the Rothko Centre’s walls, bringing exhibitions from its collection into other cultural venues of Daugavpils.
On 27 April, the Rothko Centre’s chamber hall will receive the solo recital of the opera singer Ilona Bagele.
The anniversary week will culminate on 28 April with its central event – the formal opening of a new display with Mark Rothko’s originals with guests of honour from the artist’s family.
The day will conclude in the Rothko Centre courtyard on the grand open-air stage with a Latvian premiere of SPLEEN MACHINE LIVE – a conceptual audio-visual show by the Italian multimedia artist Alex Braga. Braga will also mint in real time special limited edition NFTs of the show. The first will be donated to the Rothko Centre, while the other ones from the series will be available for sale right after the show for collectors.
On the anniversary day, 28 April, the Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Centre will be open to visitors free of charge from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The other events in the anniversary programme will also be available free of charge.
22 April MARTINSONS HOUSE TURNS ONE
3 p.m. Chamber Hall of the Rothko Centre, Daugavpils, 3 Mihaila Street (entry by invitation)
“Allusions” by AnNo (creative duo of Antra and Normunds Vīksne): a piano recital for four hands
4 p.m. near the Martinsons House, Daugavpils, 3 Mihaila Street
- “Rita Einberga /1921–1979/”: exhibition opening
- “Meteorite” by Solveiga Vasiļjeva: art object opening
- Elīna Titāne: ceramic sculpture opening
- Open-access storage for the Rothko Centre’s contemporary ceramics collection: unveiling of the facility and the ceramics display
- “Safe Insecurity” by the Panevėžys International Ceramics Symposium: exhibition opening
6 p.m. near the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Ceramics, Daugavpils, 8 Hospitāļa Street
“Études” by Sanita Ābelīte: exhibition opening
2 p.m. Dailes Theatre, Rīga, 75 Brīvības Street
“ROTKHO, made in Latvia”: exhibition opening
4 p.m. Chamber Hall of the Rothko Centre, Daugavpils, 3 Mihaila Street (entry by invitation)
“OSOKINS – FOR CHOPIN”: a concert by Andrejs Osokins
2 p.m. Saules School (New Campus), Daugavpils, 8 Saules Street
“PERSON. GENIUS. DAUGAVPILS”: exhibition opening
4 p.m. Daugavpils Local History and Art Museum, Daugavpils, 8 Rīgas Street
“ROTHKO SPRING”: exhibition opening (featuring works from the Mark Rothko International Painting Plein Air, 2005–2012, the Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Centre Collection)
27 April VIP PREVIEW
4 p.m. Conference Hall of the Rothko Centre, Daugavpils, 3 Mihaila Street
5 p.m. Sector A of the Rothko Centre, Daugavpils, 3 Mihaila Street
6 p.m. Chamber Hall of the Rothko Centre, Daugavpils, 3 Mihaila Street (entry by invitation)
Solo recital by Ilona Bagele
28 April ROTHKO’S ORIGINALS
11 a.m. Video room of the Rothko Centre, Daugavpils, 3 Mihaila Street
- How to assess the Rothko Chapel in the light of the 21st century – a public talk by Annie Cohen Solal (France)
- Rooted and routed: The art of John Hoyland – a conversation between Philip Dodd and Sam Cornish (UK)
2 p.m. Conference Hall of the Rothko Centre, Daugavpils, 3 Mihaila Street
The Rothko Centre on its tenth-anniversary threshold: Opportunities and challenges – a round-table discussion moderated by Toms Treibergs
5 p.m. Conference Hall of the Rothko Centre, Daugavpils, 3 Mihaila Street
- Opening the new display of Mark Rothko’s originals
- Opening the exhibition “Doors of Perception: The Paintings of John Hoyland” (UK)
7 p.m. Rothko Centre courtyard, Daugavpils, 3 Mihaila Street
SPLEEN MACHINE LIVE – an experimental audio-vidual programme by the multimedia artist Alex Braga (Italy)
8 p.m. Rothko Centre courtyard, Daugavpils, 3 Mihaila Street
Music performance by the artist Gatha (France)