May 17 2023

Sophia Vari: 1940–2023

Sophia Vari, an artist known for her investigations into form and balance, has died aged 82. 
Renowned for her dynamic sculptures, her work across all media shared a sensitivity to form and movement, with compositions in collage, watercolour and paint pushing into the realm of dimensional space.⁠
Vari’s sculptures evolved through several stages across her career. While her early work from the 1960s onwards was mostly figurative, in the 1980s, she began to employ rounded abstract forms that suggested the human body. Eventually Vari 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 contributed 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. 
Vari’s monumental sculptures have been shown in public locations around the world. Most recently, 12 monumental sculptures are currently on display in Park Avenue, New York, until 31 October 2023. 
For each installation, she paid special attention to the way that her works were integrated with the cities in which they were exhibited. Vari was particularly concerned with the way in which the tactile quality of the patina surfaces encouraged a connection with her viewers, while the majestic scale of her public sculptures created a strong visual impact.
Sophia Vari had over 100 exhibitions over the course of her career, with institutional shows including Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, Italy; the Palazzo Bricherassio, Turin, Italy; The Ludwig Museum, Koblenz, France; and more recently, the Pera Museum, Istanbul, Turkey.⁠ An exhibition of her jewelry will run in London 7 June – 7 July 2023 at Elisabetta Cipriani Wearable Art.