Pēteris Martinsons. Sensual architecture



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.

Depth of figurative thinking, breadth of creative perception, diversity of artistic expression and excellence in teaching confirm Martinsons truly was an exceptional man of many talents. His childhood interests were carefully, methodically and compellingly developed in later life. It was no coincidence that constructing cardboard models led to an education in architecture, sketching real-life observations and imaginings on paper evolved into exquisite, even calligraphic Indian ink drawings, a genuine interest in theatre inspired work in stage design, but curiosity-driven dabbling with clay became a lifetime passion.

“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 – some of his very first moulded and wheel-thrown objects, reliefs depicting literary characters, monumental figures, functional and stylised vessels, brittle porcelain pieces, representations of living beings such as crows, lions and dogs in different materials, tectonic structures such as towers and cages as well as other shapes, numerous sketches 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.


Mājas lapa šobrīd atrodas pārveides stadijā, dažas sadaļas tiek papildinātas

Scroll to Top