Janis Avotins

Latvia, 1981

Born in Lettland in 1981, Janis Avotins now lives and works in Riga. Graduated from the Latvian Academy of Art, Lettland; Janis Rozentals School of Fine Art, Lettland; Manchester University, UK.

Latvian artist Janis Avotins’ paintings allow the viewer to consider a melancholic world of loss, refuge, fears and dreams. Using the lightest washes of oil paint he creates haunting and isolated forms and figures, images that are at once luminous and oddly solarized and reminiscent of pre-digital photographic printing processes.

The main theme in his work is the fundamental solitude of human existence. The figures in his paintings evoke a certain form of isolation, in proximity of a subtle glance or touch, yet alone and thrown back on themselves. In his latest work the figures seem to belong to another era, their mundane gestures taking on the weight of delicate rituals. Avotins’ paintings are depictions and narrations of emotions and feelings, as well as references to lost history and memories barely recalled.

Selected solo exhibitions

Johnen Galerie, Berlin (2006) | Johnen + Schöttle, Cologne (2005) | IBID Projects, London (2005) | Possession, Riga, Latvia (2004) | Rheinschau, Art Cologne Projects, Cologne (2004) | Conversance, Riga, Latvia (2003).

Selected group exhibitions

Judith, Perry Rubenstein Gallery, New York (2007) | In nite Painting, Villa Manin Centre for Contemporary Art, Italy (2006) | Prague Biennale 2, Prague (2005) | Dark Dreams, Johnen + Schöttle, Cologne (2005) | Esoterica, IBID Projects, London (2004) | Autumn 2002, Riga Contemporary Art Space (2002).