Forms and Colors Continued/ Color and Scale marks Sophia Vari’s fifteenth solo exhibition with Nohra Haime Gallery. Throughout her long and internationally spread career, Vari’s work continues to take dramatic turns. Ranging from monumental sculpture to canvases, geometric collages and wearable jewelry, her work retains a signature strong yet sensitive, recognizable hand. This exhibition gathers work in multiple mediums, and includes new sculptures and collages highlighting powerful explorations into color and scale.
Vari’s work emerges as a reflection of herself through aspects of a multicultural upbringing. Her worldly experience and valuable education greatly influence the progression of her art. Born in Greece in 1940 to a Greek father and Hungarian mother, Vari spent her early childhood in Lausanne, Switzerland. Upon returning to Greece after the war, Vari had a distinct relationship with French culture. Additionally, her many years in Paris, ties to South and Central America, and extensive foreign travel have amalgamated into a uniquely personal style.
An active artist since the 60s, Vari’s shift from painting to sculpture marked the first of many significant advancements in her career. She quickly discovered that making art which existed in a 3D space satisfied a deep seeded need within her. The simplified, essential form of Cycladic sculpture from her native country of Greece provided a strong influence during her primal artistic stages. After mastering the use of bronze and epoxy, her shapes took on a less representative form, yet retained a recognizably feminine essence.
Vari’s most recent major development explores the use of color and scale. In this exhibition are sculptural and collage examples showcasing her skillful flow of color from 2D to 3D works. Sometimes bold, sometimes subtle, her carefully considered color palette emphasizes the edges of her ascending polychrome sculptures and artful works on wood.
From her tabletop pieces to monumental public sculpture, Vari’s dramatic play with scale is evident across all mediums. Her mural-sized collage, Forms and Colors 3, supplies us with a sense of how scale changes the experience for the viewer within 2D. These bold compositions come to fruition utilizing details of watercolor, gouache, paper and wood. Through the use of diptychs and triptychs, they generate an all-encompassing feeling for the viewer.
Sophia Vari is currently based in Montecarlo. She studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France. Vari has a strong international presence and has participated in hundreds of solo and group exhibitions across Europe, the United States, and Asia. Outdoor solo exhibitions of Vari’s monumental sculptures have taken place in cities such as Paris, Rome, Montecarlo, Baden-Baden, Geneva, Pietrasanta, Athens, Madrid, and Cartagena de Indias. These monumental works are currently on view at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens. Her art is included in the permanent collection of a multitude of museums and institutions; Danseuse Espagnole graces the Plaza of the Heroines at Wichita State University in Kansas. Vari has been represented by Nohra Haime Gallery since 1985.