Jeffrey Kirkwood reviews the recent exhibition Amanda Valdez: Taste of Us at Denny Gallery, New York.
Kirkwood writes: "It is in [the] mutual dependence and opposition between the materials out of which the pieces are ‘built’ and the overdetermined shapes they create that the show really does its heavy lifting. Everything in the pictures suggests the physical craft of its genesis, from the apparent seams and choice of fabrics to the crudely textured paint deployed as if by a hedonistic sous chef. In the larger pieces, there are no frames beyond the stretcher bars the cut-outs and shapes extend all the way to and sometimes beyond. The edges serve to emphasize the inseparability of the associations produced by the pictorial elements and the very space in which they are allowed to exist, from the modes and materials of their assembly. Signification and abstraction are bound to craft — a fact made more apparent by the inclusion of the smaller studies, where the imperfect, hasty orthogonality of pencil-drawn frames around the shapes emphasize the potential amendment or erasure of a frame altogether — something that only gains a sense of permanence when it is made indistinguishable from the materials themselves in her larger pieces."