The themes of
Jānis Avotiņ' (b. 1981,
paintings are loneliness and alienation. Scenes from
books by Kafka and Dostoyevsky or references to a
collective memory seem to turn up in these
paintings. According to Avotins, the loneliness that
his work expresses emphasizes the vulnerability of
the individual who is oppressed in our modern
society. To show this, all references to time and
place are omitted from these works. There is nothing
that points to a chronological process or to an
identity of the figures in them. Everything centres
around the depiction of the fragile human condition.
What is striking about Avotins work is the
immaterial character of the scenes that seem to take
an eternity or a second. Faces remain unrecognizable
because Avotins considers the expression on a face
to be too personal and too intimate. In contrast,
hands are very present.
Janis Avotins feels an affinity in his method of
painting for the
Lithuanian-American painter Vija
Celmins and he acknowledges the influence of Werner
Herzog and Deimantas Narkevicius in his own oeuvre.
Janis Avotins studied at the Janis Rozentals School
of Fine Art and at The Latvian Academy of Art from
1999 to 2003. He has had several exhibitions at IBID
Projects in London and in Vilnius and at the Johnen
Galerie in Berlin and the Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle
in Munich.Avotins had a large retrospective in the
Ludwig Forum in Aachen, Germany in 2008. This year
he will show his work at the Vilnius Painting
Triennale in Lithuania.