“Sensual Architecture” by Pēteris Martinsons at the Valmiera Museum

1 April through 28 May 2022 the Valmiera Museum exhibition hall receives an exhibition of graphic art and ceramics by Pēteris Martinsons from the Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Centre collection.

The world-renowned Latvian ceramicist, Pēteris Martinsons (1931–2013), was born in Daugavpils, where he would spend the first thirteen years of his life. For more than half a century, his art and persona charmed and inspired generations of ceramic artists in Latvia and beyond. Towards the end of his life, the artist donated a substantial part of his creative legacy to his city of birth. This is how the Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Centre became a permanent home to his life’s work and achievement.

“Pēteris Martinsons. Sensual Architecture” features the artist’s drawings in Indian ink, made as standalone artworks in their own right or a means to an end – a quick way to capture everyday impressions or arrest the flight of creative thought. The Rothko Centre collection also includes seemingly insignificant sketches on birthday cards, invites, notebook sheets or blank spaces in Martinsons’ writings – personal items that reveal another edge to the artist’s creativity and have been waiting for their time and space to be seen.

Visual musings about cosmic, human or tectonic issues and fusions of different motifs were prequels, follow-ups or spin-offs to his three-dimensional works in the ceramic medium. So against the backdrop of handmade drawings, “Pēteris Martinsons. Sensual Architecture” also features ceramics – embodiments of the artist’s unquenchable thirst for experiments with ceramic materials and techniques. Besides hand-painted porcelain platters and vases, the display includes smoke-fired clay compositions and monumental figures in chamotte to show the artist’s exceptional skill and reconstruct the testaments of time he captured in the medium.

As of now, the Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Centre collection contains 800 artworks by Pēteris Martinsons and over 50 Indian ink drawings. The collection keeps growing with annual acquisitions from donations and purchases. In 2022, the Pēteris Martinsons Memorial Home with a permanent display from the Martinsons Collection will be opened a few steps from the Rothko Centre, in the former powder magazine of the Daugavpils Fortress.

The exhibition will be opened at 4 p.m. on 1 April at the Valmiera Museum exhibition hall.