17th International Painting Symposium (17.09.-17.10.2021)

For many years, the city of Daugavpils and the Mark Rothko Art Centre have been magnets to acclaimed professional artists from all parts of the world as the birthplace of Mark Rothko, the world-renowned abstract expressionist. Every year, painters from near and far apply to the symposium that bears the name of Rothko in hopes of getting to know the artist on his home soil and painting in his childhood city. This year, the symposium has brought together nine painters from Latvia, the UK, the USA, the Netherlands, Canada, Poland and Germany. They all went through a rigorous selection procedure in early 2020, but it is only now that they could come to Latvia to spend a fortnight at the 17th International Painting Symposium “Mark Rothko”.

For symposium participants, meeting creators from other countries and sharing a workspace in the art centre’s studios is both a blessing and a challenge. The densely packed symposium time-space, rich in conversation and discussion about art and its many processes as well as individual artist experiences and ideas contained in their work, has immense potential to broaden creative horizons and bring new insights to every participant. Using abstract, geometric and expressive language, the artists demonstrate the diversity of their individual creative styles whilst revealing their impressions from Rothko’s work and their Latvian experience.

Tatjana Černova

Symposium participants:

  • Arvid Boecker (Germany)
  • Kuba Janyst (Poland)
  • Barbara Nycz (Poland)
  • Leon Phillips (Canada)
  • Joanna Pottle (USA)
  • René de Rooze (the Netherlands)
  • Andrew Smith (Wales/UK)
  • Māris Upzars (Latvia)
  • Amy Vensel (USA)


Daugavpils City Council, State Culture Capital Foundation, US Embassy to Latvia and Caparol Ltd.