Varda Caivano

Varda Caivano, an Italian citizen born in Argentina, has lived and worked in London since 2000.  After finishing her MA in Painting at the Royal College of Art in 2004, Varda has moved from strength to strength.  Her work is currently featured in the British Art Show 7: In the Days of the Comet at the Glasgow Centre for Contemporary Art after the show toured through Nottingham and the Hayward Gallery in London earlier this year.  This past summer, Varda undertook a residency at the British School in Rome, which culminated in a group show there. Varda's 2009 Untitled work on display in this exhibition is an elusive work which is emblematic of the fundamental uncertainty of what abstract painting is all about.  Modest in size, this canvas is densely layered with different marks of colour - both lines and blobs - in a palette of blues, greens and pinks and portrays a sense of space and depth through these layers.  This quilt-like layered effect is visually stimulating but leaves the viewer unsettled at the same time though its constant juxtaposition between colour and line.  This is testament to Varda's adept use of paint on canvas.  Her dense abstract mark making may exhaust the viewer with the canvas's patches of overworked paint but her work is filled with doubt and vulnerability.  Varda makes each of her works over a period of time as marks and ideas build up and develop in relationship to one another.  Varda says "My paintings are built on layers, they are thoughts or monologues, moments that grow over time - it is as if the studio is a body or head, a symbolic and physical place."