Artists of Marin

Marin Art Directory

Jean Yanko Varda

Jean Yanko Varda
artist, painter

Jean Yanko Varda (1893-1971) was a Sausalito artist known for his abstract painting and collages. He came from Smyrna (now İzmir, Turkey). At 19, Varda moved to Paris where he met Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque and took up abstract and avant garde art styles, mosaics, and later collages. He lived in Cassis, France and London, England before World War II. At the onset of World War II, Varda emigrated to Monterey, California. Circa 1948, Varda and the British-born artist, Gordon Onslow Ford acquired an old ferryboat called the Vallejo and permanently moored it on a dock in Sausalito, California. They remodeled it into a houseboat, art studio, and artist salon. Varda lived on the docks the remainder of his life. A major exhibit of works by Jean Varda took place at the Bay Model Visitors Center in Sausalito in 2015. See slideshow

Books: The book  The Art and Life of Jean Varda by Elizabeth Leavy Stroman, published in 2015, is the first full-length biography of this important artist.