Luscious complex shapes in enticing muted colors filled the walls of The Walter Art Gallery from March 16 to April 9, 2018. Barbara Valles’ works are beautiful, thoughtful, feel effortless, and yet clearly require great technical skill.
Valles is interested in the spontaneity and simplicity of everyday actions, common objects, and ordinary materials. She says, “I find beauty and honesty in flaws and imperfections, and the inward self-reflection that they inspire.” Valles works with an inventory of thumb and tongue prints she has created, and uses oil markings, self-curving sheets, and wrinkles to convey an ethereal sense of place. Simple physical strokes of pigment are applied with minimal force.
In this show, she combined this vocabulary with the use of improvised materials to stretch the boundaries of abstract painting. Her dimensional oil paintings are translucent, creating light pieces that seem to float in their spaces. Materials are twisted and shaped into folds and undulations. The material becomes the art object.
Barbara Valles was born in Spain. Her work has been shown in cities such as Madrid, San Francisco, and in Mexico. This will be her first exhibition in Scottsdale. For Valles, art education began as a child and grew into an international trajectory. Formal art education took place at the Escuela de Artes y Oficios de Madrid. She took courses at the Alevi Cultural Center in London, as well as the Circulo de Bellas Artes de Madrid before coming to Arizona and receiving a BFA in painting from Arizona State University.
Barbara Valles has been featured in selective exhibitions at Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, and San Luis Obispo Art Museum. She was awarded Brushtrokes 2013 from the San Luis Obispo Art Museum, and numerous other awards.