DANIEL PITIN INVOKES THE PAST

Narratives elude definition.

By Balthzar Malevolent

DANIEL PITIN INVOKES THE PAST

Daniel Pitín (b. 1977, Prague, Czechoslovakia) is a leading figure among the generation of artists to have emerged since the fall of communism in Central and Eastern Europe. He received his education from the Academy of Fine Arts, Prague, Czech Republic in 2001, and continues to live and work in Prague. Recent exhibitions include A Race of Peeping Toms, Nicodim Gallery, Los Angeles (2020, solo); A Paper Tower, Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague (2019, solo); Formal Encounters, Galeria Nicodim, Bucharest (2018); Broken Windows, House of Art, České Budejovice (2018, solo); Grotto, Charim Gallery, Vienna (2018, solo); Crystal Gardens, GRIMM, Amsterdam (2017, solo); The Mechanical Flowers, Nicodim Gallery, Los Angeles (2017, solo). Pitín is collected by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Knoxville Museum of Art, and his solo institutional exhibitions include Cover Story, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (2012); and After the Fall, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill, NY and the Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, TN (2011).

The materials and references densely layered in Daniel Pitin’s recent paintings at Mihai Nicodim are beyond excavation, and the work is all the richer for feeling just out of reach. Pitin, born and based in Prague, embeds printed matter — ads, scraps of books and newspaper — into his canvases and occasionally writes cryptic snippets across them.

He paints in inky dilutions and viscous crusts, cloudy grays, scorched blacks and seeping yellows. A recognizable subject anchors each painting — a beekeeper standing among his boxes, a woman sitting on the edge of a bed — but suggestion often overtakes description. Narratives elude definition. All the while, the surfaces feel viscerally immediate.

Pitin invokes the past, in part, through television and film stills that he incorporates into his paintings and sequences that he uses as raw material for his own videos.

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Daniel Pitin
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