Walter Wickiser Gallery is pround to present an exhibition of recent paintings by Preeti Varma, entitled NEFELIBATA, from September 2nd to September 27th, 2017. The opening reception will be held on Thursday, September 7th, 6pm – 8pm.
“NEFELIBATA”—roughly translated from the Portuguese as “Cloud Walker”—the bold colors and forms come off as abstracted maps of the unconscious, though they are in fact drawn from the external world. With a nod to the French modernist Jean Dubuffet, who found beauty in “what lies at our feet,” Varma’s unorthodox representations focus attention on what we do not usually see, what she terms as “physically present, but visually absent objects.
Preeti Varma’s fascination with portraying the unnoticed developed in response to dramatic shifts in her surroundings, as she moved first from India to Singapore, and then to New York City. Here, the overlooked objects are Manhattan’s ubiquitous fire hydrants. The India-born artist sees the commonplace hydrants as not just necessary fixtures of the urban landscape, but ones that are worthy of our admiration, with their own distinct patina—peeling paint, dog stains, graffiti—announcing the passage of time and experience.
Varma conveys an almost child-like fascination toward the mundane objects, rendering them as vivid, almost primal incarnations of their physical forms. The paintings pulse with life. To be sure, Dubuffet’s biomorphism echoes in their bold shapes and bright hues.
In this series of paintings Varma continues to shake off the dullness that might otherwise cloak the familiar props of urban landscapes by lingering—just like a cloud walker—in the aftermath of fleeting visions.”
For further information contact the gallery at 212-941-1817. Tuesday through Saturday
11am – 6pm