International juried exhibition

This is the fourth time the Latvia Ceramics Biennale has brought together some of the world’s leading ceramicists, throwing Latvia into the spotlight as the current epicentre of activity in ceramic art. Through an extensive and exciting programme unfolding across multiple venues in Daugavpils and Rīga, the forum illuminates current trends and developments in contemporary ceramics with a strong emphasis on diversity in how the artists approach the medium.

Martinsons Award is a sweeping international juried exhibition and the central event in the biennale calendar. From a record 685 submissions from 71 countries, an international jury selected 64 best applicants for the final cut, acquiring 59 exhibits for the spectacular group display. After a final on-site assessment, three Latvian and three international artists are declared the winners of this high-status award commemorating, the Pēteris Martinsons (1931–2013) the celebrated Latvian ceramicist.

This year, the biennale theme is “Troubled Waters”. In most creation myths worldwide, water is the element that brings new life. A substance from which a divine power separates the earth, life and everything that is. The restless flow of water has become an apt, compelling metaphor for flight of thought, a fine material approximation for the physically intangible. Our archetypical perspective on ceramics is tied to reigning in the troubled waters – arresting their flow in a body of clay – which is exactly why the close relationship of water and ceramics is as old as the human ability to work this material.

The biennale is organised by the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Ceramics in cooperation with the Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Centre.

Curators: Valentīns Petjko, Aivars Baranovskis

The Latvia Ceramics Biennale and the Martinsons Award 2023 are supported by the State Culture Capital Foundation, Development Programme for Latvia’s Historical Lands and the Latgale Region Development Agency, Keramserviss Ltd., Lighton International Artist Exchange Program and Daugavpils City Council. Some biennale activities are supported by the European Union through Project No. LVIII-060,

Exhibition period: 8 September 2023 – 18 February 2024