Magazine article Artforum International

Daniel Pitin: Galerie Charim

Magazine article Artforum International

Daniel Pitin: Galerie Charim

Article excerpt

Artistic explorations of cinematic conventions have grown to become their own field. The canvases of Daniel Pitin, a painter born in Prague in 1977, are steeped in cinematography. "My work begins in front of the monitor," the artist has said. "I watch different films and wait for a scene to capture me. I like rather undetermined situations, just fragments of whatever story. A movement, a scream, a fall...." Once a moment has been extracted, Pitin paints an unflinching, obsessive, magical picture. He evokes the Hollywood myths conveyed by the great storytellers of American cinema, but he fragments their settings, dissolving them into intangibility. The paintings are created by adding and subtracting layers, by retouching and blurring the pictorial reminiscences of movies.

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More recently, however, Pitin has started to paint against the illusion of the very kind of cinema that had long been his great source of inspiration. It's as if he were now convinced that the artificiality of space can only take on substance on the painter's canvas. Pitin negotiates this space as a model, as a stage, or as an empty, abandoned place; as a construction that no longer functions as a film backdrop but as the painting's architecture. Pitin offers potential spaces; as in a detective story, he adds pieces of evidence that allow the viewer to guess at their functions, but which all ultimately lead nowhere: People sit on folding chairs in front of cheerless facades in the glaring sun of an urban concrete stage, in front of a dark-blue security gate (Flashback, 2007); others come together on the stairs of a dirty industrial building (Dresden, 2006), which they seem to be trying to enter in vain; people huddle together in a garden in front of a marquee (Blindman's Buff, 2007), much like Hitchcock's seagulls; a man stands hunched over in front of a house with black window holes (Architekt, 2007). …

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