David B. Smith Gallery is proud to announce New Patterns, a solo exhibition by Oakland, CA-based artist Anna Valdez. Featuring large-scale oil paintings and brightly patterned ceramic vessels, new life is breathed into the art historical tradition of the still life, where the mundane and exotic coalesce into moments of joy, discovery, and inspiration.

Through both staged and chance arrangements in her studio, Valdez creates a sense of intimacy with viewers, set to the backdrop of her vast collection of ornate textiles and lush potted plants. Various objects in her paintings act as both personal symbol and chance captured moment, offering a playful glimpse into the physical and psychological spaces of the artist’s studio. Autobiography innately plays a role in works, as Valdez, a once aspiring sociocultural anthropologist, is keenly aware of the potential for narrative that emerges from artifacts and environment.

Bounding with color, traveling in and out of spaces real and imagined, the interiority of the domestic sphere meets the outside world via window scenes within the compositions. Patterns and habits, formed by lives being rerouted by hurdles and desires alike, offer us opportunities to reassess and reenvision our reality. Visually alluding to repetition, as colorful ceramics presented in the exhibition are also carefully worked into paintings, Valdez traces the viewer’s gaze through her studio, over textural arrangements of personal possessions, and then beyond the architecture of the room itself. In New Patterns, Anna Valdez harnesses her curiosity and affection for her personal space while allowing for the potential of discovery beyond the walls of the familiar; alternating between two and three dimensional works, embellishing as necessary, imagining potential beyond what is immediately available.