Tireless worker of hard metals, Chryssa Vardea, known internationally as Chryssa, arrived in America at a very young age and was dazzled by the bright lights and neon signs of contemporary metropolises. She was charmed mainly by New York, Times Square specifically, and the urban calligraphy and bombardment of the senses the city offered. She quickly found her feet and became involved with materials such as aluminium, plaster, Plexiglas, neon lights and steel. In the 1980s, Chryssa created a series of works she called Urban Landscapes. Using reinforced steel and influenced by ideograms, she essentially created an “excerpt of a handwriting,” as she herself stated, and repeated the form but also its negative on many levels. Moreover, she also positioned vertical compositions in order to give the work strength, imbuing the conception with a monumental character and elevating it into a symbol. The work is completed with a layer of spray paint. Every one of her works demonstrates the self-sufficiency and validity of form with unique clarity and dynamism.
Chryssa Vardea was born in Athens and following studies in social care, she left for Paris where she studied for a year at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière, before ending up in America, where she lived for most of her life. Despite the initial difficulties of settling down, she entered the American art scene relatively quickly. She had numerous exhibitions in important museums around the world. After 2007 she lived between Athens and New York. She died in Athens in 2013.