Selected works by Jānis Avotiņš

Jānis Avotiņš
Untitled

2011

Oil on canvas

50 x 88 cm
With their ghostly, alienated faces and figures reminiscent of Soviet-era photography, Jānis Avotiņš thinly painted canvases draw us into a fragile, elliptic world haunted by collective memory.
Jānis Avotiņš
Untitled

2011

Oil on canvas

46 x 36 cm

In one of Avotiņš’ series, photographs of the heads of two sombre-looking Cold War-era bureaucrats are stripped of their original context andreappearwithin a dark emptiness. Their studied features look crudely eroded, as if rubbed onto, or rubbed out of, a temporary blackboard.

Jānis Avotiņš
Untitled

2011

Oil on canvas

102 x 58 cm

Two gossamer-like female figures – another solemn and almost faceless pair – appear to be walking out of a background of darkness. Their poses, soft silhouettes and the bright illumination on their bodies recall the long-exposure and bleached out feel of early photography, so often showing shapes similarly eked out of an enveloping darkness. They are beautiful, bleak and memorable, all at once.

Jānis Avotiņš
Untitled

2012

Acrylic on canvas

188 x 230 cm

In one work, a ghostly, isolated right hand is placed exactly in the middle of a canvas, becoming the mysterious central focus within an overwhelming nothingness.In other works, singled out yet unrecognizable figures appear framed by a similar vacuum, soaked in washes accompanied by the symbolic material presence of the canvas’s grain. Recent compositions include architectural elements, but figures remain phantom-like, in a state of tension somewhere betweensketchily existing and melting into the background.

Jānis Avotiņš
Untitled

2012

Acrylic on canvas

140 x 260 cm

Often using a minimalistic, monochromatic aesthetic reminiscent of fellow Latvian artist Vija Celmins, Avotiņš’ virtuosic imprimatura washes and technique blur and erase the specificity of his subjects, imbuing his images with an air of mystery, rather than nostalgia. They playfully engage with the relationshipsbetween analogue photography, the way history can edit and turn individuals anonymous, and with our own collective memory-making – impressions fading in and out of existence.

Jānis Avotiņš
I Saw My Bad Approaching

2009

Acrylic on linen

222 x 260 cm
Jānis Avotiņš
Untitled

2009

Acrylic on linen

222 x 260 cm

Text by Lupe Nùñez-Fernández


Other Resources

artfacts.net
Additional information and images- Jānis Avotiņš

artnet.com
Additional information and images- Jānis Avotiņš

the-artists.org
Additional images and information- Jānis Avotiņš

ibidprojects.com
Representative Gallery- Jānis Avotiņš

akinci.nl
Representative Gallery (Guest) - Jānis Avotiņš

galleriaastuni.it
Representative Gallery – Jānis Avotiņš

artslant.com
Additional exhibition information- Jānis Avotiņš

jnproduction.com
Additional information and images- Jānis Avotiņš

stadtgalerieschwaz.at
Additional images and information- Jānis Avotiņš

likeyou.com
Additional images and exhibition information- Jānis Avotiņš

ludwigforum.de
Additional information- Jānis Avotiņš

georginastone.wordpress.com
Additional information and images- Jānis Avotiņš