Daniel Pitín is a painter who naturally classifies in the international context of contemporary painting, primarily from the circles of the Leipzig School. Formally he can be classified among the strong generation of artists who work with quasi figurative compositions and architecture. For that matter, architecture alone is a fundamental component of Pitín’s work, present from the beginning in the actual composition of his paintings, and later as the inseparable part of the dramaturgy of his exhibitions; for example Muži v zahradě (Men in the Garden) (Galerie Hunt Kastner) or Meine Gefangenem (Galerie Charim Ungar Contemporary) in Berlin. The work of Daniel Pitín is accompanied by a strong relationship to film, from taking over individual film scenes (Alfred Hitchcock’s Birds) to working with actual video Večeře s Malevičem (Dinner with Malevich) and others. He finds the interconnection of architecture and film in backdrops that have become his significant subject. Most of his canvases are penetrated with the conflict of illusion and the world that is in reality behind it. The artist moves on the border of spatial abstraction that includes citations of all sorts of motives, film scenes, architectural fragments or cut outs of old masters’ paintings. There is also a subliminal topic of the deconstruction of an actual painting; in his compositions Pitín integrates canvases or scraps and photographs that he uses as the actual models. Generally important elements for him include the fragment, ambiguity and impossibility of clear reading. He evokes stories that the viewers and maybe even the artist himself cannot read with certainty. He takes out things from the original script and transfers them into new situations where layers of several stories are created that are put together creating the impression that there are several parallel stories taking place on the painting.
One of his first videos titled Ztracený architect (Lost Architect) originated as a photomontage. It consists of interferences into photographs of architecture, which more or less give an inappropriate impression – a tree trunk lying in a living room, an out of focus fly in the distance as a part of an industrial complex, or the head of a monkey sitting on the construction of Stalin’s monument, etc. We can see a more literally expressed confrontation of nature with clean geometric shapes in his later paintings inspired by the villa Tugendhat where he declares his likeness of functionalism. In his author’s commentary he admits that the clean and artificial space frightens him at the same time and that is why he tries to disturb them. Views into the functionalist space of the villa are penetrated with climbing plants and wildly growing garden. The motive of a garden also appears in the already mentioned exhibition Men in a Garden where garden sheds play a similar role as the movie backdrops. The garden with all its deposits of boards, junk and backdrops is some sort of a prototype of an abstract collective space with various time layers.
“Men in a Garden is a metaphor for me of our common memory. They are standing in an (un)safe area of the garden where they are continuously looking for something or someone.”
Memory is also the main subject that connects the painters of the already mentioned Leipzig school. Daniel Pitín is probably closest to Adrien Gheniov, but also to Mattias Weitcher or Martin Kobeov. He can also be compared to the British painter Justin Mortimer, who, in addition to painting, works with a format on the border of folding picture books and photomontage. These are some sort of Photoshop folding books in which he arranges trimmed photographs of individuals into bizarre compositions on the border of naturalness. They are slightly surreal scenes resembling, in some way, the interpretation of Juraj Herz’s editing of the movie Spalovači mrtvol (Corpse Burner) on the basis of which Pitín made the video titled Dinner with Malevich.
Dinner with Malevich is based on a scene taken out of the movie – the arrival of Mr. Kopfrkingl home. He brings several paintings home and gradually presents them to his family. Daniel Pitín intervenes the scene with digital colouring of the canvases with black paint. A picture gallery consisting of black paintings gradually emerges around the family. Black colour penetrates the entire home and opens up areas where it is possible to project the viewers’ ideas and fears. The living room turns into a meditative area – kind of a window into different space. Dinner with Malevich was exhibited at a collective exhibition with Tomáš Svoboda and his Mrs. Robert is gonna be late (Gallery Charim) in Vienna.
Daniel Pitín is a painter who is able to enrich his work by overlaps outside of the area of painting; he works with a time line and space. He cannot do without dramaturgic segmentation of his exhibitions for which he uses the already mentioned film experience, video and architecture.
P. Vaňous, Resetting/ Jiné cesty k věcnosti/ Alternative Ways To Objektivity (katalog výstavy), GHMP - Městská knihovna, 21. 12. 2007 - 23. 3. 2008, nestr., Praha 2008
M. Ticháčková, Stipendisté - 4 x jinak, A2 4/09
Protivanská L. - Buláková M.: Kde se dělá umění, Magazín DNES, 5. 6. - 12. 6. 2008, s. 26
J. H. Vitvar, Na hranici reálného a nereálného, Respekt 2/2008
J. Zálešák, Adaptace, Ateliér 2/2007
P. Vaňous, Obraz a mediální prostupy (rozhovor), A2 kulturní týdeník 40/2007
D. Kera, Malba v digitální době, Lidové noviny, 19, 295, s. 20
D. Kera, Výchova starých smyslů k novým médiím, Ateliér 12/2004
Daniel Pitín (1977), anketa Malující umělci, A2 kultuní týdeník 30/ 2007, s. 11