June Kelly Gallery


Julio Valdez
Dreams & Reflections

Valdez - Las Terrenas Abstraction V, 2015, oil on linen small

Las Terrenas Abstraction V, 2015
Oil on linen, 52 x 74 inches

June Kelly Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Dreams & Reflections by Julio Valdez on view from April 7 through May 9.  A native of the Dominican Republic, his work reflects both moment and timeless vagueness.  A hybrid visual language between figurative and abstraction is created in these recent trancelike paintings.

Valdez says, the exhibition Dreams & Reflections, is, in part, an allusion to memories, dreams, reflections and Carl Jung’s exploration of the psyche. In the Caribbean region, the surrounding waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea create a sense of light and space that are at once a blessing and a curse.

“My paintings explore this oceanic landscape that is both illusory and dreamlike. I have been examining images of water beyond its physical characteristics, as a metaphor for consciousness and the creative process.  My recent work reflects my interest in creating a spatial uncertainty, a sense of time not yet defined.”

Valdez’s paintings of the natural world’s beauty, purity and truth evolve as autonomous pictorial language simplified by his concern with location, atmosphere as well as the vagaries of time.  In Skaneateles Grey Abstraction, the attendant effects of light and chiaroscuro illumination with extensive mark-making effect a composition where within incalculable spatial volume; planes appear to melt away as transparencies or into shadow.

Valdez’s paintings continue to impress as aquatic theaters reflecting a view of the sea that radiates back to the viewer as dreamlike, if not, hypnotic.

Paintings often generate response in the mind and the intuitive system of the viewer.  Through a form of kinesthesia empathy (sensation of movement) the rhythmic articulation or ruffling of the sea water in Las Terrenas Abstractions, can be felt.  In the overall image Valdez creates a closeness of tone between hues of greens, blues and whites that resonates like a composite sound, a chord, with the ripples forming a visual cadence.

For Valdez, the sea is a world where nature and consciousness meet, where water, as well as the intensity of the light, are both his focus and constant symbols of a Dominican’s devotion to his island.

This new series, says Valdez, has been inspired by diverse places such as the Reserva de la Biosfera Ria Celestún, a large coastal wetland reserve and wildlife refuge in the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico, Las Terrenas and Cayo Arenas, both in the Dominican Republic, as well as Skaneateles Lake, the smallest of the Finger Lakes in upstate New York.  These places allow me to experience a communion with nature and its cycles, which I have found are an inviting entry point to my own inner explorations.

Valdez was born in Santo Domingo and studied at Altos de Chavόn School of Design in La Romana, which is associated with Parsons School of Design, New York.  He also studied at the National School of Fine Arts in Santo Domingo, and worked with printmakers Robert Blackburn and Kathy Caraccio in New York. He lives and works in New York City.

Valdez’s paintings have been shown in many one-person and group exhibitions in the United States, the Caribbean, Canada, and Europe.  He is represented in numerous public, corporate and private collections, including El Museo del Barrio, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, CA.; Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, New Jersey; Musée Grimaldi, Cagnes-Sur-Mer, France; Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, San Juan, Puerto Rico; Museum of Modern Art, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Omar Rayo Museum, Roldanillo, Colombia; the Library of Congress and The World Bank, Washington, DC.


Click on thumbnail for larger image.

Skaneateles Grey Abstraction - 2015-16

Cayo Arenas VI - 2016

Celestun II - 2016

Watch the video, A Conversation with Julio Valdez.

 To Julio Valdez Bio

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