Mary Valverde (born 1975, Queens, New York) is an interdisciplinary artist based in New York. She received her MFA at the University of Pennsylvania in 2012 as a School of Design's Dean's Diversity Fellow, and her BFA from the School of Visual Arts, NY in 1999. Valverde teaches at Hunter College and has given lectures and exhibited her work at BRIC, Smack Mellon, MoCA North Miami, Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, The New Jersey State Museum, Art Center South Florida, El Museo del Barrio, The Queens Museum of Art, Jersey City Museum, Momenta Gallery, Saltworks Gallery, Corridor Gallery, Rush Arts Gallery, Diaspora Vibe Gallery, Aferro Gallery, among others. Since 2015 Valverde serves as a Commissioner (Sculptor seat) for the Public Design Commission of the City of New York, and often contributes as an advisor to the NYC Cultural Arts Affairs. She has been in residence at the Thomas Hunter Ceramic Artist in Residence in 2014, an MFA Lecturer at the ICA Philadelphia in 2011, at Artist Alliance Residency 2007, and at Aljira Center for Contemporary Art's Emerge Program in 2006. Valverde has published her writing through AC Institute, NY and the Korean Cultural Center of New York.
I create installations reminiscent of sacred spaces and material offerings. The works propose relationships between the forms, marks, and measurements that intend to diagram the visceral. I bring together various ephemera material components that formulate a visual network based on arithmetic diagrams. It is a chronicling, indexing and archiving of patterns, and the examining of ways in which they empower and adorn space, the body and the psyche.
Time and space are emphasized through marks and impressions in my drawings, photographs, installations and performances. There is a consistent balance of action and restraint, freedom and limitation, and attraction and resistance that plays out in all of my work. I try to maintain a sense of immediacy and directness by a fusion of process, material and the body. I employ the innate qualities of malleable and ephemeral materials (sometimes ink, string, fabric, cotton, wire, oil, water, coffee, cocoa butter etc.) to examine the politics of production, exploitation, social roles, culture and tradition. Working in series has forced a continuous focus and understanding of myself in relation to the act of making.