Shadow and Light

29 November 2015 - 31 January 2016
Shanghai, China
Galerie DUMONTEIL Shanghai is pleased to hold the solo exhibition: Shadow and Light of the renowned Greek artist Sophia Vari. It's the first comprehensive and in-depth exhibition of the artist in China, featuring her sculptures, works on canvas, sculptural jewelry, with a special presentation of the monumental sculptures in the public space of Sinan Mansions in Shanghai.

Sophia Vari, born in Athens in 1940, is a leading contemporary Greek artist working in a variety of artistic medias from polychrome sculptures to watercolour collage. With a multicultural art education background, Vari commenced her career as a figurative painter and gained international recognition. She later chiefly dedicated her artistic life to sculpting because, as the artist commented, “I want to touch, I want the volume, I want to be able to work around my work, I want to create into a space, to prove what I created really does exist. Discovering these things, I began to feel my own existence.”

Vari’s sculptures incorporate a complex sense of space and volume, of shadow and light, originating from soft, intertwined lines and created from materials such as marble and gilded bronze. The sculptures reveal themselves in a subtle and clever manner. She creates intricate forms that interact with themselves, the space and the viewer. Using colour to contribute to the movement of her pieces, her sculptural works, both the monumental and the smaller formats, have an autonomous life, as the artist strives to “imbue shapes and colour, even their geometry, with human qualities, within a spatial context.”

In the process of abandoning figuration, jewelry is born from Vari’s creative talent. As observed by art critic Laurence Mouillefarine, “abstract constructions form pendants, bracelets, rings, clothes buttons. Mixing curves, a roundness softening a more severe geometrical plan, generous volumes - as their author. Vari treats the clothes accessory as a masterpiece. Bari treats the clothes accessory as a masterpiece. A volume in space to be seen on all its faces. It is only after having created the object’s shape, modeling each side, that she adapts it, so that it can be worn.” Jewelry created in silver, gold and precious stones are described by the artist as the “portable sculptures.”

Greatly aware of the artistic traditions that came before her, Vari draws inspiration from both the ancient and classical worlds, like that of Mayan, Egyptian, and Cycladic sculptures. She is also fascinated by the traditions that have shaped Italian art, and is influenced by the simple shapes and detail seen in the works of Giotto and Piero della Francesca.

The exhibition will be on view from November 29, 2015 to January 31, 2016 at Galerie DUMONTEIL Shanghai in Sinan Mansions. A lavishly illustrated trilingual catalog will also be published on the occasion of the exhibition, presenting not only the works in the exhibition but also extracts from selected essays on the creation of Sophia Vari.