Veiled Figures

Fabric, textile, and mixed media collage on board
51 x 34 3/4 inches

As exhibited in:
I AM A CITIZEN OF THE WORLD, 2021, Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, Asheville, North Carolina

Hailed as a child prodigy, Jean Varda’s talent transported him from his native Greece to the artistic capital of Paris (where he befriended Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque) to a permanent home along the central California coast. As part of Black Mountain College’s famed 1946 summer institute faculty—which counted Jacob Lawrence, Leo Amino, and Beaumont Newhall among its instructors—Varda taught painting and composition, with an emphasis on collage. A spirited bohemian and charismatic storyteller, Varda entertained his students with tales from Greek mythology, a personal fascination that permeated works like Veiled Figures. Known for foraging random materials for his collages, Varda incorporated various found textiles and other media in Veiled Figures, transforming unassuming elements into a vision of joy and beauty.