Sophia VARI

Publicado

«Pueblos de Colombia»

 

Unique Works
February 11 to March 8 2015

Text Room

 
Greek artist Sophia Vari, internationally renowned for her sculpture and jewelry, shows great artistic independence in her work, where she investigates the different possibilities of expression in contemporary sculpture through dynamic and sensual forms by following some of classical rules of the Renaissance.

 
Sophia Vari’s travels have permeated her work in countless ways, but have especially allowed her to see things with her own eyes. This is how Vari has been able to develop a series of stylized formal languages in which she involves schemes of geometrical patterns linked to her interest in the ideal of beauty, understood as a need to express harmony in the proportion and vitality of matter.

 
To Sophia Vari, travel is an essential part of her creative process, because, as she herself says, Greeks are great seafarers. Best known for her sculptures and jewelry, Sophia Vari had her beginnings in art as a painter. In painting she found the importance of color within composition. Initially figurative, Vari’s paintings embodied a multitude of anthropomorphic two-dimensional figures, exuberant, dramatic and sensual, full of color and texture, which were gradually transformed into shapes and abstract compositions. Figurative painting made her feel trapped; for that reason, her search for harmony, rhythm, and composition in volume and space progressively led her to abstraction and especially to sculpture.

 
After many years of working as a sculptor, Vari had the need to paint and draw and it was at that point where elements such as watercolor and painting, which she yearned for, returned to her compositions. In addition to sculpture but with the same parameters, Vari explored these new media with paper as her support, creating this series of collages that make up the group of works “Pueblos de Colombia” (Villages of Colombia).

 
Vari’s inspiration came from the archetypal models and archaic artifacts found in the collections of major museums around the world, from the simplicity of pre-Columbian art and of Mayan and Olmec sculpture; in general, her inspiration comes from a variety of sources, times and nationalities. Her research on ancient cultures has spread to such an extent that it has strengthened her interest in European art and the lessons she learned and assimilated through daily exposure to this tradition.

 
Vari was born in Greece and grew up in Switzerland, Greece and England. She studied fine arts at L’Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, where she settled almost permanently as of 1960. The first fifteen years of her career were spent exploring two-dimensional spaces and in 1975, Vari began to rethink her creative orientation, prioritizing volume and its relation to space.

 
In the exhibition “Pueblos de Colombia”, consisting of 30 works, Vari returns to color through collage on paper, and takes us on a tour through the villages of Colombia, where she finds part of her inspiration thanks to their authenticity and poetry. In these abstract collages with a figurative feeling, Vari returns to the use of elements such as watercolor to create compositions placing particular emphasis on harmony between space, form and color to rescue the spirit of each of the villages she visited.

 
Sophia Vari has exhibited her works in several countries, both in solo and collective exhibitions, including the following: Espace Cardin (Paris) 1974; The Museum of Modern Art of Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1975; the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon in 1978; different exhibitions at the Veranneman Foundation in Belgium in 1981, 1984, 1988, and 1995; The Contemporary Art Museum of Caracas in 1991; The Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown (United States) in 1997; Ulrich Museum of Art in (Wichita – United States) 1998, the École des Beaux – Arts in Paris in 1999; the Boca Museum of Art (USA) and the Ludwig Museum (Germany) in 2001; Comune di Firenze, Sala d’Arme di Palazzo Vecchio and Piazza della Signoria (Florence) 2002; the Benaki Museum in Athens and the Balai Seni Lukis Negara in Malaysia, in 2004; La Casa de Risparmio in Granada, Santa Inés in Seville and Caixa de Girona, in (Spain) 2005; Caja Canarias Cultural Center in (Tenerife) 2007; The Gardens of the Place du Casino of Monte Carlo in 2008; Paseo de la Castellana in Madrid in 2011; the Palazzo della Borsa Nuova, Genoa in 2012, the exhibition in the Pera Müzesi of Istanbul, and the exhibition of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Basil and Elise Goulandris Foundation in Greece in 2014, among others.

 
Her works are part of many collections, among which we can highlight the following: the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Benaki Museum and the Alexandros Soutzos Museum in Greece, Utsukushi-ga-hara Open Air Museum in Japan, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Portugal, the Beeldenaanzen Museum in the Netherlands, the Ulrich Museum of Art in Kansas, in addition to the Contemporary Art Museum in Caracas, the Botero Museum in Bogotá and the Museum of Antioquia in Medellin.

Press Release


Artist Sophia Vari (Greece, 1940), internationally renowned for her sculpture and jewelry, shows great artistic independence in her work, where she investigates the different possibilities of expression in contemporary sculpture through dynamic and sensual forms by following some of classical rules of the Renaissance.


After many years of working as a sculptor, Vari had the need to paint and draw and it was at that point where elements such as watercolor and painting, which she yearned for, returned to her compositions. In addition to sculpture but with the same parameters, Vari explored these new media with paper as her support, creating this series of collages that make up the group of works “Pueblos de Colombia” (Villages of Colombia). In these abstract collages with a figurative feeling, the artists creates compositions placing particular emphasis on harmony between space, form and color to rescue the spirit of each of the villages she visited.


Vari was born in Greece and grew up in Switzerland, Greece and England. She studied fine arts at L’Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, where she settled almost permanently as of 1960. The first fifteen years of her career were spent exploring two-dimensional spaces and in 1975, Vari began to rethink her creative orientation, prioritizing volume and its relation to space.


Sophia Vari has exhibited her works in several countries, both in solo and collective exhibitions, including the following since 1969: she participated in the Salon d’Automne and the Salon of French Artists in Paris in 1970; the Rassegna Internazionale della Scultura Exhibition held in Venice in 1989; the Sculpture Biennale in Monte Carlo in 1991 and 1997; the Sculpture Biennale in Amsterdam in 1994; the Fujisankei Sculpture Biennale, Utsukushi-ga-hara in the Open Air Museum (Japan) in 1995; the Women Creators of the Two Seas Exhibition: the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, held in (Greece) in 1997; Pathways of Greek Painting, 2007, at the International House of Music in Moscow; Women creators in the 20th Century Exhibitions, in 2008 and 2010 (Spain); From Picasso to Koons, The Artist as Jeweler, in the Julio Gonzalez Valencian Institute of Modern Art (Spain) in 2012, and the Exhibition at the Bass Museum of Art in Miami (United States) in 2013, among others.


Her works are part of many collections, among which we can highlight the following: the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Benaki Museum and the Alexandros Soutzos Museum in Greece, Utsukushi-ga-hara Open Air Museum in Japan, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Portugal, the Beeldenaanzen Museum in the Netherlands, the Ulrich Museum of Art in Kansas, in addition to the Contemporary Art Museum in Caracas, the Botero Museum in Bogotá and the Museum of Antioquia in Medellin.


The exhibitions “Lenguajes en papel 2015” and “Pueblos de Colombia”, by Sophia Vari will be open to the public until March 7 at Galería el Museo: Calle 81 No. 11 – 41. Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., all day. Free admission.

Works