Santa Barbara

Irma Cavat

Santa Barbara Museum of Art

A Street in Athens is a brilliant urgent series of scenes by Irma Cavat at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Cavat’s street in Athens concepts were born when she lived there on a recent sabbatical from UCSB, where she is an Assistant Professor of Art. She became fascinated with this colorful area where transients visited and prostitutes worked, people with no homes, families or roots, searching for meaning in their detached lives.

Feminine in her selectivity and sensuous use of paint and color she has used acrylic paint but also additional media, such as collaged sheets, draperies and shutters, structured to further enhance the forms and dimensions of her paintings and to create an ambience of reality and fantasy. The strong Greek light floods the canvases with dramatic nuances and shadows and emphasizes distilled moments, both psychological and artistic.

In her reconstruction of this street in Athens she has recorded fundamental realities with persuasive humaneness and extraordinary unity of focus and perception. She is her own woman and she paints with gusto and love with no attention to “the scene” except as it suits her.

Harriette Von Breton