Works of Ķīpsala ceramists from the collection of Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Centre (Latvia)

Ķīpsala Ceramics was a distinct phenomenon in Latvian art and culture of the second half of the 20th century. It shaped several generations of ceramic artists, supported the development of professional ceramics and spearheaded the emergence of contemporary ceramics on Latvian soil. In effect, it was a bridge that linked traditional and professional ceramics, taking the best from both trends.

Ķīpsala started developing into an isle of clay in 1945, when Staņislavs Kaļva, an established ceramicist from Latgale, settled in the neighbourhood and opened a studio in one of the old houses. Later, in 1951, he moved to the former fish curing factory on 34 Balasta Dambis. Given his Latgalian roots, the place was called the Latgale Ceramics Studio. In 1954, it was incorporated into the integrated Art Plant as one of its creative production departments. What followed were several changes in name and status and substantial external transformations – the studio got new spacious premises and its own exhibition hall and became known as Ķīpsala Ceramics. In 1964, the Ķīpsala Ceramics Studio took on a mainly creative focus, slowly giving up mass production. This was also when it tool in a new generation of ceramicists, who would fundamentally change the prior trends in Latvian contemporary ceramics, transforming the studio into an unofficial national academy for aspiring ceramicists.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Ķīpsala Ceramics made the name of Latvia known all over Europe – its artists earned honours and awards in international exhibitions and participated in creative symposiums and other events. More than forty ceramists have worked in the Ķīpsala Ceramics Studio Since its foundation. In the information vacuum of their Soviet reality, each artist, to a greater or lesser extent, focused their individual efforts on shaping the image of Latvian professional ceramics, which developed into a fully competitive field.

The exhibition features artworks from the Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Centre collection by Inese Āboliņa, Skaidrīte Cihovska, Violeta Jātniece, Izabella Krolle, Silvija Šmidkena, Kornēlija Ozoliņa and Latvīte Medniece.

Curator: Valentīns Petjko

Exhibition period: 22 April– 6 November 2022

Exhibition space: Martinsons House, 1 Nikolaja Street, Daugavpils Fortress