Permanent Collection

Patssi Valdez

NHCC Artist Patssi Valdez - Image Placeholder Icon

Patssi Valdez

born 1951 Los Angeles, California
lives Los Angeles

Patssi Valdez has been committed to the Chicano Movement since her teenage years, and was a founding member of the ground-breaking performance art collective Asco ("nausea" in Spanish). Today Valdez is a leading Chicana artist who has worked in photography, performance art, installation, film and theatre set design, and painting. She has been particularly concerned with examining glamor, beauty, and femininity in relationship to her Hispanic heritage. Domestic interior spaces have also been the subject of Valdez' paintings from the late 1980s onward. Her interior-​scapes are saturated with color and infused with a tangible spirit. Usually empty of people, and filled with animated, everyday objects and religious iconography, Valdez's paintings provoke the viewer's imagination.

House of Spirits resembles a stage set or a structure swept up in a tornado, which conveys a sense of theatrical drama. Its pulsing walls contain furniture that levitates, ghost-like shadows, an ominous mask, and a painting of the "all powerful hand of God." House of Spirits also resonates with Isabel Allende's best-selling novel of a similar title. The novel centers on a young woman named Clara who is able to move objects with her telepathic powers and whose husband builds her a grandiose house, a place for spiritualist meetings.

Patssi Valdez - House of Spirits

House of Spirits

1991
acrylic on canvas
60" x 84"
2004.8

Museum purchase made possible by the NHCC Foundation