Untitled, 2015

Basel 2015
Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle
Jānis Avotiņš Untitled, 2015 Oil on canvas 100 x 120 cm Jānis Avotiņš, a longtime affiliate of Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle, has honed his distinctive style with his subtle and poetic paintings and restrained chromaticity. His human shapes and faces emerge from diffuse, often obfuscated backdrops, which alienate the figures from space and time, and give them a haunting, somewhat uncanny aura. This effect is reinforced by the high light-and-dark contrasts he frequently uses. Avotiņš covers the tracks of his figures’ pasts and identities, and, in doing so, references movements such as constructivism and structuralism. By peeling subjects out of their contexts, Avotiņš reflects on the mechanisms of the systems of cultural symbols, collective symbolisms, or ideologies: As they are not embedded in their surroundings and, consequently, their assignable milieus or functions, the figures are left to their own devices.