I am honored to be having my solo exhibition AIR at the Mark Rothko Centre in Daugavpils, Latvia this summer.
a solo exhibition at the Daugavpils Mark Rothko Centre, Latvia
Mihaila street 3, Daugavpils, LV – 5401, Latvia
Opening Artist Reception: Friday, July 5th 2019 at 4pm – Open through Sept. 8, 2019
Artist Lecture: My Life in Art Saturday, July 6th, 11am-12pm
Master Class: The Armature of Abstract Art Saturday, July 6th, 12pm – 3:30pm
by Marietta Patricia Leis
polluted, dirtied, gray
purifying our air
your exhale, my inhale
baby’s first, elder’s last
long poignant song note
deep dive, swimming
newly mowed grass
fragrant spring morn
after a rain
blown by a wind
guardians take care
A while back I had one of those 21st century internet moments when the name Mark Rothko Art Centre lit up across computer’s monitor. I don’t remember the original context, however, seeing it led to the fortunate circumstances of my participation in their programing and my solo exhibition, AIR, this July 2019.
Knowing that Rothko made his mark as a leading American painter who did emigrate from Russia I was intrigued about how a Mark Rothko Art Centre happened to be in Daugavpils, Latvia. Ah, Wikipedia comes to the rescue. Well, that city which was part of Russia at the time was the birthplace of Mark Rothko on September 25, 1903. Now it is the second largest city in Latvia and residents speak Russian and/or Latvian or both.
My curiosity led me to investigate and found that the Centre in Latvian is Daugavpils Marka Rotko mākslas centrs or DMRAC. It is a multi-functional institution of culture, arts and education, located inside the arsenal building of the Daugavpils Fortress in Daugavpils. This Fortress, is an early 19th century Fortress is the only early 19th century military fortification of its kind in Northern Europe that has been preserved without significant alterations. The construction of the fortress began in 1810 by decree of Tsar Alexander I of Russia
The Art Centre offers exhibitions dedicated to Mark Rothko’s artwork and biography, Mark Rothko Life and Art. Furthermore the DMRAC facilities include art galleries of changing exhibitions, residences for artists, a video hall, an archive/library, conference/seminar facilities, meeting rooms and a restaurant.
Mark Rothko Centre, Daugavpils Fortress in Daugavpils
Upon finding out about the roster of exhibitions I made inquiries which resulted in a formal application which was eventually accepted and viola’. Being an admirer of Rothko’s art and sensibility he has influenced the reductive/minimalist spirit of my art, that is the essence that can describe the whole.
The late New York Times Art Critic, William Zimmer wrote some years ago that my paintings followed in the “abstract sublime” tradition of Mark Rothko and called my reductive paintings “sublime”. Now I feel I am paying homage to Rothko by exhibiting at the Mark Rothko Centre in Daugavpils where I can also witness the atmosphere that influenced his early years.
Marietta with Rothko’s paintings, National Gallery, Washington, DC.