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 a dozen paintings, including several that are among the artist’s largest, this exhibition explores Valdez’s engagement with the histories of abstraction and “women’s work” with fiber. She conjures surprising compositions through thoughtful use of different materials and modes of making. 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. Valdez’s evocative forms, especially those that suggest the body, hint at visceral feelings and emotional states. She believes that abstraction “allows for the creation of meaning to happen in the viewer.”
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 the Mead Art Museum in 2016, she has shown her work in galleries in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, and Tokyo. She received an MFA from Hunter College in New York City and a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.