Victoria Miro is delighted to announce its third solo exhibition with Varda Caivano, which comprises works that suggest lines of evolution, of continuity and departure, in her practice.
A selection of recent painting and work on paper displays the abiding capacity of the artist’s work to strike a subtle balance between the materiality of paint and its
emotional and figurative resonances, her deftly composed, gestural forms at once irreducible and infinitely evocative. There is the lively feeling that these surfaces are the composite expression of actions rooted in the bodily logic of inhabiting space. In her handling of paint, Caivano is drawn by the writer Georges Perec’s poetic litanies of the everyday tasks of dwelling, their layers evoking the textures of experience: “cleaning checking trying out changing fitting signing waiting
imagining inventing investing deciding bending
folding stooping sheathing fitting out stripping
bare splitting turning returning […]”.
Yet, paint moves across her canvases in a formal syntax of shapes and lines that is
not simply readable as a product of the artist’s decision-making process. Something escapes in the fluctuation between the concrete and the representational, between mark and image, in her undetermined works, which invite associativity in thinking as much as intensity in looking.
The never-finished fluidity of Caivano’s practice is heightened in the graphic qualities that emerge in recent works possessing the exploratory character of drawing, the vibrating colours
distinguishing many of her previous canvases newly pared back in favour
of cool greys
and browns. Executed in sparse, looping passages of paint, these delicate tones share a lucidity with art historical monochromatic work that has similarly compressed the colour
spectrum. Restless shifts in tempo, which leave plenty of room for pale washes of colour
and unpainted canvas, echo too
erasures and re workings
common throughout Medieval and Renaissance oil painting. Caivano’s inquisitive contours seem to measure out territory both subjective and painterly, their rehearsal of looser structures suggesting a complexity based on reduction and openness of lineation. This sense of increasing exposure is at once both contemplative and interactive, as Caivano instigates fresh conversations between artist and viewer, world and image, object and impression.
The opening of this exhibition coincides with the publication by
the Renaissance Society of Varda Caivano: The Density of the Actions
, with contributions by Solveig Øvstebø, Barry Schwabsky, Peter St John, Paula van den Bosch and Terry R. Myers.
Born in Buenos Aires in 1971, Varda Caivano lives and works in London, where she graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2004. The artist has presented solo exhibitions at institutions including the Renaissance Society, Chicago (2015); Chisenhale gallery, London (2007) and Kunstverein Freiburg,(2006). In 2013 a concise presentation of paintings throughout Caivano's practice was included in The Encyclopedic Palace, the 55th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, selected by curator Massimiliano Gioni. Other recent exhibitions include Artists' Artists
, curated by Jane Neal at the CentrePasqueArt, Biel, Switzerland (2013); Collection 2 - Focus on Recent Acquisitions
, National Gallery of Osaka, Japan (2010); British Art Show 7
: In the Days of the Comet
, Hayward Gallery, London (2010); Resonance
, Suntory Museum, Osaka, Japan (2010); East End Academy: The Painting Edition
, Whitechapel Gallery, London (2009); Busan Biennale, South Korea (2008); and Very Abstract and Hyper Figurative
, curated by Jens Hoffmann (2007). Varda Caivano is a recent recipient of the prestigious Abbey Award, British School at Rome (2011).
Press release courtesy Victoria Miro.