Candida Alvarez is an American painter and a tenured professor of Painting and Drawing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1955, Alvarez earned a BFA from Fordham University in 1977 and studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 1981. She earned her MFA from Yale School of Art in 1997, and studied at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland from 2010-2012.


Alvarez's wide-ranging practice spans sculpture, collage, abstraction, and figuration, with materials ranging from fabric, acrylic paint, enamel, and PVC mesh. Her abstract paintings are imbued with both personal and formal aspects which evolve through her relationship to color, light, and architectural elements. Drawing from the narrative of place, Alvarez pulls from materials in her immediate world and her travels to build dreamlike narratives existing somewhere between fact and fiction. Patterns on the floor, memories from childhood, and photographs function as ways of infusing her world into each painting.