“Rotkho”. Group show of Rothko copies

Ritums Ivanovs portrait of Mark Rothko, 80x73 cm, oil on canvas, 2023
The renown Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Center in cooperation with Daile Theater and well-known Latvian painters revealed works made for the "ROTKHO. Made in Latvia" exhibition. From April 22 to 28, 2023, 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. The central event will be the opening of an exhibition of six original works by Mark Rothko that have not been exhibited in Latvia so far. It is significant that just last year, when the Rothko Center was temporarily left without Rothko original works for the first time, the play "ROTKHO" (sic!) directed by Lukasz Twarkowski was recognized as the smash hit play of the year.
Therefore, an idea arose to create an exhibition based on the motifs of the theatre drama play "ROTKHO", expanding the production beyond the boundaries of the stage, expanding its activity from Riga to Daugavpils, from a digital image to its reproduction and the original of the reproduction. For the challenging project, six Latvian painters were addressed. Each of them is an author worthy of monographs, whose works shape the environment of Latvian painting scene. These are some outstanding personalities who were offered to join the adventure and make COPIES of the works of Mark Rothko.

Frančeska Kirke, Sandra Strēle, Helēna Heinrihsone, Ritums Ivanovs, Aleksejs Naumovs and Kaspars Zariņš are the participating artists, Over the course of several months, each artist created a copy of a single assigned Rothko work, which can be seen in Daugavpils from April 28. It was challenging for the artists to interpret Rothko; not just to create a replica, but to express their unique artistic handwriting though Rothko.

One of 21st century’s most ambitious cultural projects in Eastern Europe, DAUGAVPILS MARK ROTHKO ART CENTRE is a multifunctional hub for contemporary art, culture and education, located in the historical artillery arsenal building of Daugavpils Fortress. It is the only place in Eastern Europe where visitors can explore the work of Mark Rothko (1903-1970), the world-renowned Daugavpils-born American artist, master of abstract expressionism and colour field painting. Temporary projects take up 2000 square metres of gallery space and offer more than 40 different shows per annum, featuring some of the finest contemporary art projects in different media by regional, Latvian and international artists.

Mark Rothko’s abstract paintings are some of the most iconic artworks of the 20th century. An exquisite colorist, Rothko became famous for enigmatic canvases filled with rectangular fields hovering against brushy backdrops. He was deeply inspired by mythology and art history and wanted to create a sense of emotive, metaphysical communion with his viewers. Rothko’s style and experiments with color laid the groundwork for mid-century color field painting. After dropping out of Yale in the 1920s, Rothko moved to New York and eventually became ensconced in the emergent Abstract Expressionist movement alongside artists including Willem de Kooning, Helen Frankenthaler, and Franz Kline. His work has been shown across the world and belongs in the collections of institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, the Tate, the National Gallery of Art, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. His paintings have sold for tens of millions on the secondary market.

Sources: see ArtsyDaugavpils Mark Rothko Art Centre and Dailes Theatre
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