Vivian Cavalieri crafts her assemblages on an island on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Her work has appeared in numerous exhibitions in the US and abroad, including London, Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, and Athens. Recently, her work was included in WOVEN 2023, an exhibit that opened at The Sasse Museum in Los Angeles and traveled to France curated by Ciara Hambly of the Hambly & Hambly Gallery in Northern Ireland. A documentary on the French portion of the exhibition will be released by French filmmaker Lara Laigneau. Currently, Vivian is a short-listed finalist for the 2024 John Richardson French Residency Award, and her art is featured in the December 2023 issue of the British magazine Suboart. In 2024, a photograph of one of her assemblages will be displayed in the Hyde Park station of London’s underground. Vivian is a graduate of Harvard University (BA, Fine Arts) and the New York University School of Law.
I am a conceptual artist who creates highly structured and intentional miniature scenes of beauty and whimsy. When delved into further, my art invites conversations on topics such as climate change, immigration, victims’ rights, interactions with other species, and social justice. My choice of topics and viewpoint reflect decades of quiet observation as a “third culture child”.
I limit the scale of my works to allow each viewer to embark on a personal journey. With museum glass eliminating any barrier caused by glare and a deep custom frame reaching out to embrace the viewer, the conversation between viewer and art remains private. To encourage the conversation, I offer prompts for contemplation but do not lecture.
My palette and sense of design are heavily influenced by my Venetian heritage. Though I orchestrate scenes using primarily manufactured items — such as dollhouse miniatures, textured fabrics, and mirrors — I construct others as needed and make frequent use of segments of necklaces I previously designed. Just as each scene contains a treasure trove of objects, its construction involves blending multiple techniques including sewing, woodworking, painting, and photo manipulation.
I create my assemblages on Chincoteague, an island in a remote part of Virginia’s Eastern Shore that prompts me to reflect on the beauty of nature and contemplate the role of randomness in our lives.
My present project juxtaposes World War II posters from the early 1940s highlighting the abilities and intelligence of women in a effort to recruit them in the war effort, with the common perception of the abilities and intelligence of women in the early 1950s as reflected in television shows and print ads of that era.