ROTKHO. Made in Latvia

Exhibition project inspired by a half-eponymous production, “ROTKHO”, at the Dailes Theatre.

It takes the drama off the stage and way beyond the theatre walls into an art museum setting with multiple shifts in perspective – from a digital image to its creative representation in a new hard copy and back to the original artwork. This extraordinary project is the collective effort of six Latvian painters, all creative heavyweights whose individual artistic merits deserve multiple monographs each. These mainstays on the country’s art scene were offered an ambitious undertaking – to test their hand at copying some of the famed Mark Rothko’s work.

In late 2022, “ROTKHO. Made in Latvia” got the green light from these excellent artists:

Frančeska Kirke

Aleksejs Naumovs

Sandra Strēle

Helēna Heinrihsone

Ritums Ivanovs

Kaspars Zariņš

Each artist took months to replicate one original Rothko. Until the project ended and the latest showcase of originals opened to the public in the Rothko Museum’s exhibition space, the only way to encounter the painting each artist was working from was through a digital copy. While this was clearly a considerable challenge, the situation also offered some interpretative leeway – rather than merely producing a replica, the artists had room for manoeuvre and scope to demonstrate their own creative touch.

Thus, “ROTKHO. Made in Latvia” is both an imitation of world-famous artworks and an exciting visual parade of authentic creative output by eminent Latvian painters, who have produced a deeply stirring and evocative body of work. Its greatest asset – to borrow from the play that was the project’s inspiration – is “the capacity to build a strong emotional connection” with the viewer.

Now, the project’s visual output is finally back where it all began – reunited with the original Rothkos at the Rothko Museum.

Curator: Aivars Baranovskis

Exhibition period: 1 March 2024 – 19 May 2024