Denny Dimin Gallery is pleased to announce Gratitude, a solo exhibition by Amanda Valdez at the gallery’s New York location, on view from April 2 to May 15, 2021. This is Valdez’s fourth solo exhibition with the gallery.
For over a decade, Amanda Valdez has incorporated quilting, sewing, and painting into colorful abstract paintings. The artist begins with small scale drawings as a way of “dislodging” ideas and experiences onto the paper. Her shapes emerge from many of her personal experiences including motherhood, growth, running, travel, and relationships. Then, utilizing both hand dyed and commercially sourced fabrics, Valdez sews the shaped panels of fabric into the canvas before stretching it over the frame. Approaching each work differently, she continues the painting with a unique combination of oil stick, gouache, acrylic, and embroidery.
Valdez’s new work introduces weaving as an element in the paintings. The process of weaving enables a further assertion of her own hand and aesthetic into the work, as well as of the female-dominated histories of textiles into abstract painting. In her studio, Valdez has been experimenting with creating and using weaving drafts on her four harness floor loom, as well as combining different elements of weaving and quilting into new variations of patterns to incorporate into her paintings. In works such as ‘up in the garden’ (2021) and ‘high on hope’ (2021), the various fibers create textural dimension and volume as Valdez tests weaving patterns and transposes her experiments directly onto the work. In ‘New Me’ (2021), among others, Valdez created a new weaving draft pattern to design the fabric element of the painting, offering a geometric juxtaposition to the oil stick abstraction.
In titling the show Gratitude, Valdez reflects on the expression of gratitude as a tool to navigate stress, loss, and tragedy. A tumultuous year of suffering the death of a parent, becoming a mother, and the ongoing challenges of navigating a pandemic in New York City pushed Valdez to contend with these experiences through the tools she developed when becoming sober as a young adult. She drew on her personal practice of five years of writing gratitude lists to share with other women as part of a sober community via email, with one such list included to accompany the exhibition. Valdez meditates on the concept of collective coping methods and how both creating and experiencing art plays a role in that. She offers her gratitude list in addition to the artworks as a gesture of empathy in our common struggle.
Amanda Valdez received her MFA from Hunter College in New York City and BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her most recent solo exhibitions include Piecework at the Heckscher Museum of Art, Rattle Around at KOKI Arts, Wild Child at the Landing Gallery in Los Angeles, First Might at Denny Dimin Gallery in New York, Hot Bed at Dot Fiftyone Gallery in Miami, and Ladies’ Night at the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College. In 2018, she was an artist-in-residence at New Roots Foundation in Guatemala. Valdez has also received prestigious artist residencies at the Joan Mitchell Foundation, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Byrdcliffe, MacDowell Colony, and Yaddo. She has received grants from the Joan Mitchell Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts, Hunter College, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the 2011 College Art Association MFA Professional-Development Fellowship. Her work is included in the collections of the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College, Davis Museum at Wellesley College, and Time Equities, Inc. in New York.
The exhibition will be open Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Appointments, which can be made on our website, are recommended to expedite your visit, but not required. Face masks are required. Denny Dimin Gallery is located at 39 Lispenard Street in New York City. For sales and press inquiries, contact Elizabeth Denny (+1-917-215-3723, [email protected]) or Robert Dimin (+1-917-445-7956 or [email protected] dennygallery.com).
The artist will be present for conversations outside. The gallery will be limiting capacity during the reception; we ask for your patience in advance. Masks required.
Catalog essay by Lisa D. Freiman.
Lisa D. Freiman is a professor of art history at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts. She also works as an independent curator and art consultant. For over thirty years, she has served in leadership and curatorial roles in the modern and contemporary art field. She was the inaugural director of VCU’s Institute for Contemporary Art and co-curated its opening exhibition, Declaration in 2018. As Senior Curator and Chair of modern and contemporary art at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA), Freiman developed a dynamic and widely-recognized program that supported artists’ work through major traveling exhibitions, commissions, acquisitions, and publications. In 2011, the U.S. State Department selected Freiman as the commissioner and curator of the U.S. Pavilion for the 54th International Art Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia, the oldest international exhibition of contemporary art in the world. Her exhibition Gloria featured six newly commissioned, site-responsive works by the collaborative artists Allora & Calzadilla. In 2010, Freiman launched 100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park, an expansive project that offered a new model for 21st-century sculpture parks emphasizing experimentation, place-making, and public interaction through changing commissioned artworks. Freiman earned her PhD and MA degrees in modern and contemporary art history from Emory University and holds a BA from Oberlin College.
11 x 8.5 inches