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The poetics of indeterminacy – according to which vagueness and words belonging to its semantic field would represent the essence of the poetic – has always found many enthusiasts among artists. From Petrarch to Leopardi to Rimbaud, words evoking a sense of ephemerality, indeterminacy and vagueness have been the foundations of a certain way of interpreting poetry and art.
Janis Avotins can certainly be said to belong to this illustrious artistic tradition, which in the field of figurative art features the Japanese masters of the Hasegawa school of painting. His large abstract paintings retain that speckled, mist-like atmosphere which can be also found in his figurative works, and which represents the signature style of the Latvian artist. However, his abstract works are dominated by the absence of the human figure, reminiscent of the editing powers of history and of the impotence of individuals in front of it. Technically speaking, the eerie and ghostly appearance of his abstract paintings is achieved by covering the canvases with a thin imprimatura wash of dark oil paint and by leaving some areas unshaded. The result is a scenario which speaks of absence and presence, luminescence and darkness, vague enough to be powerfully poetic.