NEW YORK – Two current exhibitions presented by The Nohra Haime Gallery celebrate the work of Sophia Vari (1940-2023), the Greek artist known internationally for her polychrome paintings, collages, and sculptures. Vari passed away May 5, 2023. She was married to Colombian sculptor Fernando Botero who passed away on September 15, 2023.
Throughout her career, Vari explored color, form, and volume, interrogating the construction of space and the relationship between object and viewer. The artist cited influences ranging from Cubism, to classical Greek sculptures, to Olmec artifacts.
Sophia Vari: A Retrospective at The Nohra Haime Gallery, 500A West 21st Street in Manhattan, showcases a collection of sculptures, watercolor paintings, and assemblages from four decades of the artist’s career. This exhibition runs through September 30 and contains works from the 1980s, including Dryades (1985), an example of how during this decade Vari mostly limited sharp angles and colors, concentrating on fluid and organic lines. The exhibition shows how she then began implementing distinct angled curving lines and later including color, adding another dimension to her works. Temps Suspendu (1999), for example, demonstrates her consideration of the harmony between the flat and voluminous.
Presented in collaboration with The Sculpture Committee of The Fund for Park Avenue and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation’s Art in the Parks program, ‘Sophia Vari: A Tribute, Twelve Monumental Sculptures’ displays 12 monumental bronze sculptures on Park Avenue between 54th and 62nd Streets in Manhattan through November 5. These have previously been shown in public art exhibitions around the world, including in Paris, Rome, Montecarlo, Pietrasanta, Madrid, Athens, Cartagena, Baden-Baden, Geneva, Beijing, and London.
Born Sophia Kanellopoulou in 1940 in the small Greek village Vari, from where the artist took her name, she trained at the Heathfield School in London and then the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Following her first exhibition in London in 1969, she showed her work in museums, galleries, and public art installations around the world, including at The Ludwig Museum, Kombletz; the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence; the Palazzo Bricherassio, Torino; and the Pera Museum, Istanbul. Her work is represented in public collections around the world, including: National Museum and Alexandros Soultzos Museum, Athens; National Pinacotheca, Athens, Museum of Modern Art, Andros, Greece; Fundaçao Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon; Fundación Botero, Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango, Bogota; Museo de Medellín, Medellin, Colombia; Museo de Ponce, Puerto Rico; museum Beelden aan Zee, The Hague; Benaki Museum.
Sophia Vari: A Retrospective runs through September 30 at The Nohra Haime Gallery, hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 AM-6 PM. Monday by appointment. More information is available online: https://shorturl.at/rsDQ3.
Sophia Vari: A Tribute, Twelve Monumental Sculptures on Park Avenue, between 53rd and 62nd Streets in Manhattan, runs through November 5. More information: https://shorturl.at/cemnM.