Untitled, 2019, oil on canvas, 48 × 37,5 cm.
Untitled, 2019, oil on canvas, 175 × 270 cm.
Jānis Avotiņš’s idiosyncratic, aesthetically refined paintings have made him one of the most promising young Latvian artists. His style is unmistakable: With highly atmospheric density, Avotiņš paints human figures in unreal spaces. The grainy, cloudy visual language is reminiscent of the faded photographs from the early days of the medium. Occasionally, the figures seem to detach from the surface; the outlines become blurred and diminish, thus symbolizing moments of transformation and dissipation. This allows Avotiņš’s paintings to capture the volatility and thrownness of human existence in a particularly moving way. Jānis Avotiņš has kept pursuing his deep interest in the human condition in his new works, creating his characteristic setting with figures who are introverted or at times seem lost in considerate conversation. It is precisely through this detachment from the context and by way of metaphors of exclusion and emptiness that mechanisms of cultural collective symbolisms or ideologies are reflected: The figures, unembedded in any environment—i.e., in no attributable milieu or function—are left to their own devices. Avotiņš’s artistic practice always reflects subjective and objective constructions of reality as well as the transformation and expansion of social structures and truths. In recent years, Jānis Avotiņš has expanded his oftentimes pale-dark palette with a significant color range. His current exhibition also integrates new, more colorful works, some of which are even sprawl across larger formats. Jānis Avotiņš was born in Riga in 1981 and studied at the Art Academy of Latvia. His works have been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions at home and abroad. Awarded the Prix Jean-François Prat in 2016, he is represented in private and public exhibitions around the world, including the Rubell Family Collection, the Cranford Collection, the Hort Family Collection, the François Pinault Collection, the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo and the Sammlung zeitgenössischer Kunst der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle has been showing works by Jānis Avotiņš since the beginning of his carreer and put on his first solo exhibition in 2005. (SK)