Médée II, before 2010
18 kt yellow gold, ebony and white cultured pearl ring
4.5 x 3 cm
edition 4 of 8
signed and numbered
Vari’s sculptures have evolved through several stages in the last few decades. While her early work from the 1960s onwards was mostly figurative, in the 1980s, Vari began to employ rounded abstract forms that suggested the human body. Eventually she began incorporating planar and constructed forms into her work, and by the mid-1990s she had begun to apply colour to the surfaces of her dynamic sculptures. This use of colour contributes to the movement of Vari’s pieces, and her sculptural works, created both on a monumental scale and as table pieces, appear to move autonomously as the viewer walks around them. Her work across all media shares a certain playfulness and liveliness, with compositions in collage, watercolour and paint pushing into the realm of dimensional space.
Sophia Vari’s “portable sculptures”, as she likes to call them, first became part of the artist’s body of work 30 years ago; at a time in her life when demanding international schedule kept her constantly on the move. While travelling, she carried with her a small box of plasticine, from which she would mould miniature sculptures. “From that day on, I had a new creative challenge that gave me a lot of joy because I could see the pieces being worn,” she recalls. Vari approaches wearable art in precisely the same manner and strength as her abstract sculptures, collages and paintings. Her thorough exploration of bold geometric forms, the examination of volume, painterly curves and lines result in the composition both peaceful and elegant but also captures a harmonious theatrical tension.
“It is a real challenge for me, and it is very much like creating a sculpture, made to be worn. No doubt, the fact that I am a woman has its advantages. Firstly, because I can try it on me – and secondly the fact that I have greater sensitivity compared to a male artist – enables me to highlight the female trait to a greater degree”Vari.