Museum Night at the Rothko Centre or Art Isn’t Easy

After a two-year break due to pandemic restrictions, the Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Centre opened its doors to thousands of people who came to the centre on Europe’s Long Night of Museums to experience five exhibitions from the current spring season. Taken together, the exhibition halls and the newly opened Martinsons House drew almost thirteen thousand locals and visiting tourists.

This year, the Rothko Centre chose to organise the Museum Night with a motto – Art Isn’t Easy. It intrigued and provoked the visitors, asking them to find the unique value of each piece in its technical expression as well as reflect on the meaning of contemporary art and its deeper message, ranging from conceptualist ideas to irony.

One exhibit in particular, “Lithuanian Girl” by artist Martynas Gaubas, triggered the broadest spectrum of emotions and sparked the liveliest interest. Although the piece was “heavy” both in the physical sense and in terms of understanding, it managed to convince with its genuine appeal and artistic quality.

Museum Night also premiered the latest addition to the Rothko Centre collection – a retrospective series “Video Art 2002 – 2018”, consisting of ten experimental videos by Remigius Venckus, a renowned Lithuanian media artist, art critic and Professor at VILNIUS TECH, the Vilnius Gediminas Technical University.

The festive atmosphere was enhanced by students from the Staņislavs Broks Daugavpils Music School. For many young performers, it was their first public recital ever.

Museum Night 2022 was challenging in the sense of bringing a once established tradition back to life after a necessary break, but, at the same time, it confirmed that the pandemic hasn’t destroyed public interest in art and culture.