As a painter, Jānis Avotiņš has his own unmistakable language. He is known for his atmospheric landscapes and his "soulscapes" of human relationships featuring an absolute minimum of colour that seems to have been "breathed" onto the canvas. His interests revolve primarily around human emotions, the relationship between the inner and outer being, memories of the past, everyday life and ideologies. His most recent works seem to be dominated by light and space. The contrasts of light and dark increasingly determine the composition and effect of his paintings. Originally used by Caravaggio for heightening the composition, this chiaroscuro effect lends Jānis Avotiņš's paintings an unmistakable aura. His figures emerge from the dark, diffused background in ever lighter shades of colour, creating a mysteriously luminescent effect. The strong contrasts make for a heightened corporeality and plasticity, in turn heightening the dramatic content of the depicted scene. Very often the figures are so vaguely depicted that one has to guess at them. Jānis Avotiņš was born in Latvia in 1981, studied at the Janis Rozentāls Riga Art High-School and at the Latvian Art Academy in Riga. His works belong to numerous internationally renowned private collections and have been shown at the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn (2013), the Saatchi Gallery London (2012), the Contemporary Art Centre Vilnius (2010), the Stadtgalerie Schwaz and the Ludwig Forum for International Art in Aachen (2008).
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