Santa Fe Offers Respite for Artists.
New York Times
October 7, 2001
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Filed at 3:40 p.m. ET Santa Fe, NM (AP) — Painter Teressa Valla was supposed to be doing work for an upcoming show in Italy. Instead, she roamed the streets of New York, taking photographs.
In the days following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, she felt numb, distracted, ill at ease. In need of a respite, she found the prospect of one in New Mexico.
A Safe Haven
Pasatiempo, The New Mexican’s Weekly Magazine of Arts, Entertainment and Culture
November 9 - 15, 2001
By Teri Thomson Randall For the New Mexican
Painter Teressa Valla was the first to arrive in Santa Fe on Oct. 22. “I felt relief as soon as I got off the plane,” she said.
Valla watched the World Trade Center burn from the roof of her apartment near the Museum of Natural History in upper Manhattan. Since the attacks, she said, she has been surrounded by the constant sounds of sirens, the acrid smell, the soberness of the city and a heavy sadness. At first she felt numb and did everything she could to stay in control, she said. But grief eventually overcame her. Seven firemen from her local fire station had been killed. “I found myself crying a lot, vacillating,” she recalled during a recent interview at the institute.
Dreams of Art and Life
Exhilarating bursts of intense, riotous color and cornucopian abundance are some of what you see when you first view Teressa Valla's arresting, voluptuous paintings. They are a kind of visual magic realism, a melange of the abstract and representational, the real and the fantastic merged and metamorphosed, the surfaces a tapestry of thick, sinuous skeins of color with areas of silken transparency.
Teressa Valla also demonstrated with her two works a considerate versatility that helps the viewer reflect on the means and the expressive resorts of abstract painting. Hers was a more deliquescent sort of abstraction, reminiscent of De Kooning after about 1978, and perhaps of Helen Frankenthaler, or other painters concerned more with vibrancy of color and less with the somewhat lugubrious ethic of early abstract expressionism. Windswept Thought added to this more colorful approach a structural economy that is necessary, and an instrumentality of all the better work in this idiom, where it is so important to manifest structural cognizance and control.
Good as gold
Esther Klein Gallery
3600 Market St.
Like medieval artisans, Teressa Valla uses gold to ennoble ordinary subject matter. The small mixed-media paintings on paper that she’s showing at the Parallels Gallery are smothered in gold, which provides a lush background for brightly colored, leaflike shapes.
Valla gives the pieces physicality by embedding objects that resemble leaf stems or pine needles in the gold surface. The total effect, which suggests stained glass or enamel work, is scintillating.