“Breaking Wave 2,” by Amanda Valdez, is embroidery, hand dyed fabric, fabric, handwoven textile, and canvas. Submitted photo

AUGUSTA – In her debut Maine exhibition “Breaking Wave,” New York City-based artist Amanda Valdez exhibits a series of new works created especially for the geometric, multi-level space of the Charles Danforth Gallery at the University of Maine at Augusta, at 46 university Drive . The artist will participate in programming during the exhibition, inviting students engaged with questions of painting, textiles, art history, and feminism. Live and Zoom events during her exhibition, including an opening reception and gallery talk, a Zoom Q&A with the artist, and a moderated discussion with noted textile scholar Dr. Noga Bernstein.

“Breaking Wave” features four new large-scale works constructed of hand-woven textiles on a floor loom, quilted fabrics, embroidery, and paint that are based on the precise geometric notations of weaving diagrams and quilting patterns that play on the square format of the gallery itself. Starting with the regular squares of graph paper, Valdez creates patterns for her works that shift between woven passages, quilted sections, embroidery, and organic sometimes-painted shapes. The exhibition’s title references the ways her works create and then break down linear structures with organic forms, but also the ways curvilinear shapes can spring from the strictures of the grid. Hybridizing weaving, quilting, and drawing to create textile “paintings,” Valdez’s new works intertwine the linear structure of the grid, which mirrors and symbolizes (in weaving diagrams) the warp and weft of the loom or the squares of a quilt and the architecture of the Danforth Gallery, and the organic gestures of nature and of painting.

Steeped in the histories of art and textile design, Valdez’s works reference the Modernist devotion to grids, whose strict mathematical geometry were important to the Minimal and Conceptual art movements of the 1960s and 70s. Valdez’s work also references the cultural resilience and resonance of women’s craft traditions, the perceived individuality of brush strokes in the Abstract Expressionist paintings of the mid-twentieth century, and the American Pattern & Decoration Movement that began in the early 1970s.

Gallery hours are 9 a… to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The artist will offer a gallery talk at her opening reception at noon Thursday, Sept. 1, as well as a Zoom Q&A at noon Wednesday, Sept. 7, and a dialogue with Dr. Noga Bernstein at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21.

For more information, visit danforth.uma.edu.

 

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