Rothko art center in Daugavpils marks fifth anniversary

Take note – story published 5 years ago

April 24 marks five years since the Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Center in Latvia opened its doors to the public as one of the most ambitious 21st-century cultural projects in Eastern Europe.

The idea for the center was born in 2002 and took over a decade to realize - to create a unique tribute to the Daugavpils-born world-renowned artist Mark Rothko – a place that offers an opportunity to see Rothko’s originals worth millions of dollars.

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Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Center is located in the historic artillery arsenal
building of Daugavpils Fortress, originally built in 1833. Reconstruction of the arsenal took the joint efforts  of three different projects, which were co-funded by the European Union.

Along with a permanent display “Mark Rothko. Life and Art” featuring six valuable
originals by Mark Rothko (changed periodically), the center offers both permanent and temporary shows across over two thousand square meters of exhibition space.

Each season offers the public a chance to see seven new shows, which have included works by Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Edvard Munch and other world-renowned artists in addition to Rothko himself.

Since 2013, 209 group and personal exhibitions have been held at the Rothko Centre, featuring artwork in different media – painting, graphic art, textile art, ceramics, photography etc., and highlighting some of the best artistic projects by regional, domestic and international artists. 28 exhibitions have been organised in other art spaces in Daugavpils, Rīga, Cēsis, Bauska, Kuldīga, Lūznava and Rēzekne.

A number of exhibitions from the Rothko Centre’s collection have travelled outside Latvia to Lithuania, Estonia and Belarus.

A record number of Museum Night visitors (6,787) to the Rothko Centre was observed in
2017. Another tradition, which began in 2015 and grows ever more popular, is the Art Night, which is celebrated annually as part of Daugavpils City Festival. It is an interactive, dynamic
and bold night-time artistic event at Daugavpils Fortress, which invites to engage with art
through conversation, contemplation, creation, walking and storytelling. 

Overall, the center's collection currently holds 3,166 pieces.

In 2013, the centre received a truly exceptional donation – the personal collection of ceramics and graphic sketches by Pēteris Martinsons. To honour the invaluable contribution to ceramic art by the Daugavpils-born artist, it was decided to begin work on the Martinsons Memorial House where the artist’s creations will be showcased to the public in a permanent display. Opening of Martinsons Memorial House is scheduled for 2019.

According to the management, the Rothko Art Center receives over 90,000 visitors each year. Overall, since 2013 Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Centre has had over 500,000 visitors, providing a major boost to a part of the country that has often been left off tourist itineraries.

You can follow all the latest news from the Rothko Art Center at the official web page HERE.

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