First Home


First Home, 2020, embroidery, gouache, oil stick on mounted paper and acrylic paint on canvas, 46 x 42 inches. Image courtesy of the artist.

Reynolds Gallery is pleased to announce Amanda Valdez’s first solo exhibition with the gallery, which opens on Friday, September 11th with an all-day reception from 11am – 5pm and remains on view through October 30, 2020.

In First Home, Valdez presents nine works on canvas that incorporate a wide range of materials, including hand-dyed fabric, commercially sourced fabric, collaged oil stick on paper, and thread, and techniques including painting, drawing, quilting and embroidery. The artist also includes four gem-like works on paper in which she layers gouache, acrylic and graphite. Valdez explains, “Much of the work is a combination of embroidery, fabric, and oil stick on mounted paper. Several of the pieces, ongoing union, Reflect & Replicate, and Sweet Trouble, are exclusively fabric or fabric and embroidery, with these ones I felt called to let the color, pattern, and embroidery have space from the hand drawn elements of oil stick and allow for a minimal feeling to emerge or showcase the quilted elements without them having to negotiate hand drawn elements.”

Two Gems, 2020, embroidery, hand-dyed fabric, and canvas, 24 x 20 inches. Images courtesy of the artist.

Two Gems (detail)

Valdez created the majority of the paintings and works on paper during a time of quarantine, away from her regular studio, and there is a quietude and reflectiveness in the works that seems to mirror this time. Titles like Personal Revolution and Reflect & Replicate hint toward introspection and simplification. Valdez further elaborates in the below statement for the exhibition:

What I have to say about this body of work cannot be separated from the experiences of the last year. While I typically leave the abstraction as open to the viewer as possible and give poetic clues with titling, the intimacy of mothering my child in their first year, and enduring a shelter in place order that displaced my family is embedded in the shapes. Waves, curves, and bending shapes are being pulled up when I draw, their own signals of the loss of control and need for fluidity in taking each day as it comes. A curve is a response, it’s a movement in connection to landscape and the body. One I feel as the bodies between my son and I are still interwoven, yet the process of separation has begun. With this body of work I wanted to express a warmer color palette, while not exclusively that, it’s a feeling of being dewy, half lit in the fading deep night light, a way to make the shapes glow (“First Home”, “ongoing union”, “Reflect & Replicate”). While other moment of color call up chaos and staccato (“Burn Within”, “Braided Offering”).

– Amanda Valdez, 2020


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Amanda Valdez lives and works in New York, NY. She received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and MFA from Hunter College in New York. She has held solo shows across the US and internationally including Rattle Around at Koki Fine Arts in Tokyo, Japan, Piecework at the Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington, NY, several solo shows with Denny Dimin in New York, and Hot Bed at Dotfiftyone in Miami. She is the recipient of a residency at the New Roots Foundation in Antigua, Guatemala; several Joan Mitchell Foundation residencies in New Orleans; and has traveled on residencies to the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire and Yaddo in Saratoga Springs, New York, among others.