Rothko in Lampedusa (in parallel to the 58th Venice Biennale) in Venice, Italy

Exhibition: Rothko in Lampedusa in collaboration with UNHCR.

Location: Palazzo Querini, Dorsoduro 2691, 30123 Venice

Opening hours: May 11th to November 24th, 10:00 – 18:00 (closed Monday) 

Curators: Francesca Giubilei + Luca Berta

Artists: Adel Abdessemed, Majid Adin, Christian Boltanski, Rasha Deeb, Mohamed Keita, Dihn Q. Lê, Nalini Malani, Abu Bakarr Mansaray, Richard Mosse, Bnar Sardar Sdiq, Ali WakWak, Ai Weiwei, Hassan Yare and Artur Żmijewski.

In 1913, ten-year-old Mark Rothko emigrated from the Russian Empire (now Latvia) to the United States. His father died soon after they arrived in the US, giving Mark and his siblings no other choice than to start working at a young age to contribute to their mother’s meagre income. Despite a tough start, Mark further developed his artistic talent and ambition in his new home country and became one of the most influential painters of the 20th century.

Imagine if Rothko had not been given the chance to live a new life in safety, and the world would have been deprived of his transcendental abstract paintings, which have moved millions of people? And – what if there is a Rothko of the 21st century among the refugees arriving in Lampedusa today?

“Rothko in Lampedusa” is an independent exhibition during the 58th Venice Biennale, presented and produced in collaboration with UNHCR. It reflects on the inherent and individual value of refugees. Through the works of internationally acclaimed artists and six emerging artists who are also refugees, the exhibition aims to remind the world that—just like the rest of us—refugees are individuals with creative ambitions and a strong will and ability to contribute. 

The exhibition also features a Better Shelter unit, which lets visitors see what home looks like for many refugees today.