Thick as Thieves
Denny Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by Amanda Valdez, Thick as Thieves, on view from September 10 to October 19, 2014.
Thick as Thieves is Valdez’s second solo exhibition at Denny Gallery. The exhibition will include new paintings made of fabric, paint and embroidery, works on paper, as well as sculptures, a new medium for the artist. The works in the exhibition examine how painting and sculpture can represent the physical experiences and stories of the body, using different modes of making to give a larger sense of time on a historic scale. The works are a matrix of gestures, styles, and materials referring to visual cultures that are both western and non-western, creating a variety of historical references, from quilting and sewing, to tiling and brick-laying, to virtuoso gestural painting. The Bauhaus weaving workshop, Islamic architecture and patterning, pre-modern American quilt design, Byzantine mosaics, and American post-war abstraction are all important sources for Valdez. Her works operate as a reflection of the body, and the histories that the body holds in its physical makeup: scars, sags, symmetries and asymmetries, and a lifetime of emotions. They have a physical presence, feeling as though they mirror something fundamental about one’s own presence and weight. This is just as palpable in the sculptural work as in the painting: clay holds its history in its surface and its internal chemistry, just as the human body does. The art object itself embodies these histories, encapsulating them and thrusting them as signals to the future.
Amanda Valdez was born 1982 in Seattle Washington. She lives in New York City. 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 were Double Down at Prole Drift, Seattle (2013) and Taste of Us at Denny Gallery (2013), and she has been exhibited in group exhibitions throughout the United States and abroad. Valdez has received prestigious artist residencies at 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.
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