Varda Caivano
2 June 2007 – 22 July 2007
Opening: Saturday 2 June

Caivano’s recent small-scale oil paintings contain an intriguing mix of abstraction and figuration evoking landscape and organic forms in some paintings while in others, interlocked elements jostle, connect and dissolve. She deliberately keeps her work in creative flux, opening it up to interpretation and avoiding habits of a signature style and premature resolution. She deftly exploits formal traits to improvise imaginative possibilities for the representation and exploration of an otherwise hidden internal life.

The quality of surface in these paintings also gives them specific character. The paintings are built up thinly, and sometimes scraped back in areas to expose the weave of the canvas. There is a veneer of awkward fragility conveyed through the scale, subtle tones and paint application that partially conceals something intense underpinning them. Caivano’s application of paint appears, in places, as if it were a fleeting stain or something rubbed away to create a palimpsest revealing earlier states of the work. Revision, doubt and memory are an intrinsic part of Caivano’s visual economy that draws in viewers to calibrate themselves to these restless but authoritative paintings.

There resides in all her work a stubborn and rewarding concern for originality and authenticity. The paintings contain both what is needed for resolution on their own terms and a sense of the artist’s experience of being in the world through building on art historical accomplishments. These include Caivano’s strong connection to the history of improvisation in both visual art and music and a palpable relationship to craft.

Varda Caivano was born in Argentina in 1971. She studied Art History (BA) at the University of Buenos Aires from 1994 to 1998, received a Post Graduate Diploma in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College, London, from 2000 to 2001 and completed an MA in Painting at The Royal College of Art, London, from 2002 to 2004. She lives and works in London and is represented by Victoria Miro.

The exhibition is accompanied by a full colour catalogue with essays by Felicity Lunn, Director of Kunstverein Freiburg and Simon Wallis, Director of Chisenhale Gallery.

Click here for the accompaning publication to this exhibtion in the shop.

This exhibition is a collaboration between Chisenhale Gallery and Kunstverein Freiburg.

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Varda Caivano

ISBN 3-9811268-0-7
Published by Chisenhale, London
Paperback, colour illustrations, pp 48
Texts by Felicity Lunn, Simon Wallis

The informal directness of Varda Caivano’s art, together with her skill in drawing on both art historical tradition and painterly technique, lure the viewer into a mode of dreamy contemplation that is always stopped short by doubts concerning what exactly we are looking at. The compelling awkwardness of her work sets it apart from the one-liner statements and sensational images that in her recent years have more easily grabbed attention in the art-world. Caivano’s paintings are both seductive and impossible to rasp, awkward and sensuous, reminiscent of traditional painterly values and wholly contemporary.

For more information about the exhibition please click here

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