June GAC Solo Summer Exhibition: Meet the Artist

Written by volunteer writer Marion Reidel

Marjan Kaviani’s exhibit “Fragments” is the June feature at the Guelph Arts Council’s artBar Gallery. Kaviani creates engaging images reminiscent of Da Vinci figure studies. Her “non-finato” or unfinished approach combines with the use of monochromatic tones to create the appearance of ancient work. She prepares her own canvases to generate an intentionally rough texture, then begins with a background wash that is allowed to drip and reveal brush strokes. Partially rendered forms and pencil lines remain when the artist feels that the painting is ready to speak its truth.

Image courtesy of Marjan Kaviani

Her figures are meticulously depicted in dramatic poses. In some cases, she works with individual live models then presents compositions of multiple figure images, which hold a high degree of tension. There is intentional ambiguity to remove ethnicity and gender from the equation. The artist explores not only the body’s form, but shapes and textures beneath the skin. She is intrigued by the juxtaposition of aliveness and the ephemerality of human existence. Intricate patterns play across the surface of the skin.

Canadian born Kaviani creates art that is authentic to herself. She uses imagery to explore her Iranian heritage and the global issue of the oppression of women. She also turns to Art History for inspiration. In the painting above, Deorsum, (2024, Oil on canvas, 24” X 20”), the subject’s pensive expression was taken from a background character in Michelangelo’s “Last Judgement.” The man’s countenance captures the viewer while the torso detail quietly fades into the background. 

Image courtesy of Marjan Kaviani

Kaviani is a graduate of the University of Guelph’s Fine Art’s Program and has studio space at Boarding House Arts, on Dublin Street. Her work will be on exhibit at the artBar, at 37 Quebec Street, second floor, from June 4 to 28. Please join the artist for the opening celebration on June 6, from 6:00 to 8:30 pm with free refreshments and alcohol, or stop by Tuesday to Friday from 10 am to 3 pm. Come and meet the artist during special gallery hours on June 22nd, 10am to 5pm during Art on the Street.

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