Amanda Valdez at the Heckscher Museum of Art

February 2020

Amanda Valdez: Piecework
Exhibition Introduces Artist Amanda Valdez in First Long Island Show
On view March 21 to May 3, 2020


Contemporary artist Amanda Valdez creates brilliantly colored, patterned, and textured abstract paintings by cutting, sewing, dying, painting, and embroidering canvas and other cloth.

Featuring more than 20 works, including several that are among the artist’s largest and most recent, Amanda Valdez: Piecework explores artist’s engagement with abstraction and “women’s work” with fiber. She conjures surprising compositions through thoughtful use of different materials and techniques.

“In log punch (2017), for example, a rounded mass of “log cabin” quilt blocks seems to explode an embroidered gold form. This pointy shape, with its radiating lines, recalls the splats! and pows! familiar from cartoons and Pop Art,” noted Karli Wurzelbaher, Curator, The Heckscher Museum of Art. Valdez’s evocative forms, especially those that suggest the body, hint at visceral feelings and emotional states. Valdez believes that abstraction “allows for the creation of meaning to happen in the viewer.”

(Image, Amanda Valdez. log punch, 2017. Embroidery, hand-dyed fabric, fabric, and canvas. 24 x 20 in. Collection of Heather and Philip Brandes.)

In addition to the artwork, the exhibition features a “touch table” with canvas, silk, embroidery floss, and other materials used in the works on view. A dye notebook (Valdez often dyes her own fabric) and other tools on display, highlight various techniques used by Valdez in her artwork.

In honor of the Museum’s centennial, Valdez has written responses to a wide range of artworks in The Heckscher Museum’s Permanent Collection. Her texts explore themes that have inspired her own aesthetic. Valdez’s fascination with the moon and the emotions it evokes drew her to Permanent Collection artist Ralph Albert Blakelock’s The Poetry of Moonlight, c.1980, and Edward Steinchen’s Moonlight: The Pond, 1906. “It is remarkable to see the collection through the eyes of a contemporary artist, and to appreciate contemporary art in connection with more historic work,” said Wurzelbacher. Visitors can access Valdez’s comments on specific artworks digitally in the Museum and at

“It is fitting that the Amanda Valdez exhibition will be shown alongside the student juried exhibition Long Island’s Best: Young Artists at the Heckscher Museum. The exhibiting students will benefit from seeing a leading young artist at the point of developing her work and advancing her career,” said Wurzelbacher. “In this centennial year for The Heckscher Museum, it is important to look back, while continuing to inspire future generations.”

Valdez was born in Seattle and lives in Brooklyn. She has worked in Guatemala and New Orleans and completed artist residencies at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Byrdcliffe, the MacDowell Colony, and Yaddo. In addition to a solo exhibition at Amherst College’s Mead Art Museum in 2016, she has shown her work in galleries in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, and Tokyo.  She is represented by Denny Dimin Gallery in New York City. She received an MFA from Hunter College in New York City and a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Museum Hours
Wed. – Fri. | 10AM – 5PM
Sat. – Sun. | 11AM – 5PM
Mon. & Tues. | Closed


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