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June Kelly Gallery opens exhibition of work by Julio Valdez
Skaneateles Grey Abstraction, 2014-2016, oil on linen, 58 x 90 inches.

NEW YORK, NY.- June Kelly Gallery announced 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 and a hybrid visual language between figurative and abstraction is created in the recent trancelike paintings.

This is the artist’s fourth exhibition at the gallery.

Valdez says, “ the exhibition, Dreams & Reflections, is, in part, an allusion to memories, dreams, reflections, 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 sympathetic 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 the painting, Las Terrenas Abstractions, can be enjoyed. In the overall image, the closeness of tone Valdez creates between hues of green, the blues and the whites resonates like a composite sound, a visual chord, with the ripples forming a visual cadence.

Valdez creates an energy that animates his work when linking colors to feelings.

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.

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