A forest within grasping distance of electric street lights, a meadow surrounded by a chain-link wire fence, heaps of construction debris next to a dense growth of shrubs are pictured in a vaguely recognisable, semi-abstract manner. Incorporeal because of the hazy appearance, they avoid being a straightforward depiction of social distortion. Rather, these are humble dwelling-places of the local spirits, who are affected by a mutant gene. The landscape paintings by Andris Eglītis are a reverence for the forlorn genius loci of urban outskirts.
Instead of working with the traditional types of pigments, the artist restricts himself to the variety available in situ and concocts his paints by using soil samples obtained at the sites of plein air sessions. It is the painterly texture and the absorbing materiality of the surface that holds the viewer attention. The reciprocity between the tactile materiality of the picture plane and the spatial illusion it creates evokes reflections on the very concept of landscape and its status as a cultural construct of human imagination. It also reminds the viewer of the efforts once made by academia to obtain the secrets of the “ideal landscape”.
Next to the landscape paintings of secluded corners of nature, Andis Eglītis also showed works depicting room corners of unaccomplished interiors. It is the comforting perfection of plasterboard interiors that nowadays serves as a plain projection ground for the city-bound indivdualist. Smooth surfaces and lightweight constructions cover up the deformities of nature caused by the consumer orientated high-tech lifestyle. On the urban-rural fringe, the interface between town and country, these deformations become visible again.
Near Ideal left: From the series "Almost perfect", sand, oil, acryl on wood, 155 x 115 cm, 2012 right: From the series "Corners", oil on canvas, 68 x 56 cm, 2012
Construction Made for Painting 2012, sand, soil, clay, acryl on wood, railroad sleepers, 276 x 190 x 200 cm
Near Ideal left: From the series "Almost Perfect", 2012, sand, soil, acryl, paper mounted on wood, 220 x 170 cm right: From the series "Almost Perfect", 2012, sand, soil, acryl on wood 156 x 190 cm