The layers are about time: something happens and something else happens. The work doesn’t have a clear start and end. It comes from works I did before. I do many at the same time. I change directions, mix techniques. looks in process and doesn’t have a title, and you could think it’s in conversation with some abstract painters. It’s like a note. – Varda Caivano

Varda Caivano's abstraction opens different ways of understanding the image, seeks to reveal the counter-effect of painting, as if it were inimical of the image. Her compositions, sometimes rhythmic and antagonistically entropic, reveal hidden layers in the painting, in addition to a solemn and urgent sense, as if something was going to happen at any moment but following a particular order.

Caivano investigates moments of light and image, almost like an archeologist exploring fossilized rocks. Her work is at once mysterious and same time persistent and timeless. In the exercise of combining and juxtaposing colors and shapes, Caivano work is a meditation on the nature of her own paintings. One of the possible ways to unlock our understanding of Caivano's work is to consider the image as essence, without the artifices commonly attributed to painting. It is as if we are facing what is behind it. It is the state of the beginning but also of the end of the light. It causes an involuntary anomaly in time, in the same way that poetry does. By exploring a rhythm marked by the gesture preceding the form, Caivano provides alternatives for the painting to suggest an essence above its image. When using the image as a tool to access subjectivity, the artist aligns her way with a poet's method, which uses words to abstract language. They are rhythmic noises that force us to look inward, for what is buried – for the origin.


Varda Caivano (b.1971, Buenos Aires, Argentina), lives and works between London and Madrid.

Her recent solo exhibitions include Mendes Wood DM, Brussels (2022); Lulu by X Museum, Mexico City (2022); Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo (2021); Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo (2019); The Renaissance Society, Chicago (2015); Victoria Miro, London (2011); Chisenhale gallery, London (2007); Kunstverein Freiburg, Freiburg (2006). A solo exhibition will take place at Hastings Contemporary in 2023.

Her recent group shows include Mendes Wood DM at d'Ouwe Kerk, Retranchement (2023 and 2022); Spiral Garden, Tokyo (2022); Zabludowicz Collection, London (2020); Hayward Gallery Touring, Leeds Museum and Art Gallery, Leeds; The Levinsky Gallery, The Arts Institute — University of Plymouth, Plymouth; University of Bath and Bath Spa School of Art and Design; Inverness Museum & Art Gallery and Thurso Art Gallery (2019 – 2020); The National Museum of Art, Osaka (2018); Nottingham Contemporary (2014); 55th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia (2013); Nottingham Contemporary; Hayward Gallery, London; Glasgow Centre for Contemporary Art; Plymouth Arts Centre (2010).

Selected Artworks

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