Jānis Avotiņš (born 1981), a young artist from Latvia, is one of the brightest new stars in contemporary painting in Europe and for some time has been situated in the difficult space between those in the know and those proclaiming the next big thing.
Avotiņš suspended and, at times, threatening visual spaces evoke fundamentally lost worlds. The paintings often present scenarios populated by shadowy shapes in the middle of over-powering spaces – architectures, landscapes, interiors – whose narrative-free anonymity conjures up existential alienation. And so the artist’s main motif is as evident as it is essential: human presence shaped by a fundamental loneliness.
Furthermore, the ambivalence and fragility of modern life is emphasised by the blurred outlines and soft colours of his paintings.