Art from the Rothko Centre collection in the windows of “Jūras vārti” Theatre House

Adapting to the current circumstances that prevent visitors from entering exhibition grounds, “Jūras vārti” Theatre House offers a refreshing approach to making art publicly accessible for all. From 23 February, the windows of the building on the corner of Karlīnes and Loču Street will become a display space for assorted works from an exhibition by Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Centre featuring paintings by artist Silva Linarte and participants of the international painting symposium that bears her name.

The window is a principal motif in the paintings of the Latgale-born artist and art educator, Silva Linarte (1939-2018). It frames not just her abstract landscapes but also her lived experience and worldview. Through windows, we see the artists’ impressions from the years spent in forced settlement after deportation to Siberia, countless Latvian landscapes glimpsed on train rides through the country and the vistas around her family home. The artist’s landscapes, memory fragments and creative messages, all expressed in a laconic and seemingly delicate manner of painting, expose a nuanced artistic vision, a subtle emotional intensity and a high degree of professionalism.

Silva Linarte was born on 26 February 1939 in Līksna Parish, which is part of Daugavpils District. Her early childhood was spent in forced settlement in Krasnoyarsk Krai, Siberia, whereto the family had been deported by the Soviet regime. After returning to Latvia, she graduated from Rīga Secondary School of Applied Arts and the Art Academy with double qualifications of art educator and painter. For many years, she taught at Rīga Secondary School of Applied Arts. When Latvia regained its independence, Silva Linarte returned to live in her father’s country house. She continued her teaching career at Daugavpils Secondary School of Arts “Saules” and in 1993 also took the post of the city’s Chief Municipal Artist. Throughout the final years of her life, she painted profusely and made her work public in several exhibitions. Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Centre holds 48 Linarte’s paintings in its art collection. Her creative outputs are also represented in a number of private collections in the United States, Germany, Canada, Bermuda, China, Sweden and Norway.

To confirm Silva Linarte’s contribution to the medium of painting and celebrate the uniqueness of her creative legacy as well as to promote international interest in Daugavpils as an artistically stimulating city, Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Centre instituted an international painting symposium that bears the artist’s name. From 2019 onwards, the centre invites creators to apply to the symposium and use their individual painting styles to explore the categories of person, space and time that were so markedly present in Linarte’s creativity.

So far, the international painting symposium “Silva Linarte” has attracted domestic and international artists representing Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Russia, Sweden and Spain. They have come together to participate in a shared creative dialogue, contemplating Silva Linarte’s life and art and experiencing the distinct environment of Daugavpils. Over the years, the symposium has added over 40 paintings to the Rothko Centre’s art collection.

The exhibition features paintings by Silva Linarte and symposium participants Agata Cermushkin-Chruta (Poland), Sven Drobnitza (Sweden), Gonzalo Rodriguez Gomez (Spain), Guna Millersone (Latvia), Giedrė Riškutė (Lithuania), Oksana Vronska (Latvia), Osvalds Zvejsalnieks (Latvia), Ingrīda Ivane (Latvia), Ričardas Garbačiauskas (Lithuania), Katarzyna Kowalska (Poland), Franciszek Ledóchowski (Poland) and Liisa Kruusmägi (Estonia).

The exhibition will be on display in the windows of “Jūras Vārti” Theatre House until 9 March. For a more complete artistic experience, visitors are encouraged to enjoy the exhibition in the evenings when the display is spotlighted and has a more striking visual effect.