The Little Art Window: FELICE VARINI

5 July - 1 December 2022

OLIVIER VARENNE is delighted to announce a new presentation in Gstaad at The Little Art Window, 4 Alte Lauenenstrasse, 3780 Gstaad. 



Swiss-born Felice Varini lives and works in Paris. Over the past 40 years, he has created a body of work which can be found in both public and private contexts worldwide and whose field of action is ‘architectural space and everything that constitutes that space’.  In his projects realised since 1979, he creates works which respond uniquely to the architectural environment in which they are situated.  Described as ‘visual poetry’, his highly individual and distinctive creations initiate a vivid dialogue between their parts; the site of the work’s creation, its perception, and crucially, the viewer’s location.


“…I paint these simple forms on the architecture, as soon as we leave the right vantage point, the abstract forms that appear become very complicated.  That is my purpose: new forms appearing out of the point of view go beyond all known forms.”


The fundamental instrument in his paintings is ‘the viewpoint’:

“I call the viewpoint a point in space that I choose with precision.  It is generally located at my eye level and preferably located in a necessary place of passage, for example an opening between one room and another, a landing, etc. However, this is not a rule, since all spaces do not systematically have an obvious route.  The choice is often arbitrary.  The viewpoint will function like a reading point, i.e., like a possible starting place as the painting and space is approached. The painted form is coherent when the spectator finds the viewpoint.”


That Varini initially worked in stage design in Geneva in unsurprising.  He acknowledges how it has grounded his subsequent work in its geographical context and relationship with the public. A recent project in Vercorin, a village in Valais, revealed to him the receptivity of the locals to the location of his piece, thanks to their involvement and the respect he showed to their protected environment.


Varini works closely with Olivier Varenne on realising private and public commissions.   



My field of action is architectural space and everything that constitutes such space These spaces are and remain the original media for my painting. I work "on site" each time in a different space and my work develops itself in relation to the spaces I encounter.

I generally roam through the space noting its architecture, materials, history and function. From these spatial data and in reference to the last piece I produced, I designate a specific vantage point for viewing from which my intervention takes shape.

The vantage point is carefully chosen: it is generally situated at my eye level and located preferably along an inevitable route, for instance an aperture between one room and another, a landing... I do not, however, make a rule out of this, for all spaces do not systematically possess an evident line.

It is often an arbitrary choice. The vantage point will function as a reading point, that is to say, as a potential starting point to approaching painting and space.

The painted form achieves its coherence when the viewer stands at the vantage point.When he moves out of it, the work meets with space generating infinite vantage points on the form. It is not therefore through this original vantage point that I see the work achieved; it takes place in the set of vantage points the viewer can have on it.

If I establish a particular relation to architectural features that influence the installation shape, my work still preserves its independence whatever architectural spaces I encounter. I start from an actual situation to construct my painting. Reality is never altered, erased or modified, it interests and seduces me in all its complexity. I work "here and now".

Felice Varini



The Little Art Window is an innovative vitrine nestled into an old chalet in the heart of Gstaad (Switzlerand), curated by Olivier Varenne and showcasing leading contemporary artists. Address: 4 Altelauenenstrasse, just off the main promenade, around the corner from the Posthotel Rossli. Contact and info: / +41 79 326 66 60

Installation Views