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Vincent Valdez: Just A Dream…


  • Exhibition

  • On view May 24, 2025

November 15, 2024 – March 23, 2025 – Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
May 24, 2025 – April 5, 2026 – MASS MoCA

Vincent Valdez: Just a Dream… is the artist’s first major museum survey and spans over two decades of his work, from early career drawings to current allegorical portraits. This exhibition cements Valdez as one of the most important American painters working today — imaging his country and its people, politics, pride, and foibles.

Working across painting, video, drawing, sculpture, lithography, and multimedia installation, Valdez deftly addresses the failings and triumphs of contemporary American society with a reverential focus on collective memory and overlooked political histories. Valdez states, “I create images as instruments to probe the past in order to reveal an immediacy to what is occurring today. I am alarmed by the denial of history. I will continue to create counter-images to impede the social amnesia that includes our fateful desire to repeat it.”

Including previously unexhibited and new bodies of work, Just a Dream… is a unique opportunity to see the breadth of Valdez’s practice. The artist often works in series, with this exhibition marking the first time these chapters are in dialogue. Valdez celebrates common people, like his own family members, as empowered, formidable, and present, while challenging traditional and historic symbols of power within contemporary society.

A bilingual book is accompanying the exhibition featuring writings and interviews addressing Valdez’s work through the lens of America today, including Evan Garza, Denise Markonish, Joyce Carol Oates, and Patricia Restrepo. It will be co-published by MASS MoCA, CAMH, and X Artists’ Books.

Vincent Valdez: Just a Dream… is co-organized by Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH) and Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA). The exhibition is co-curated by Denise Markonish, Chief Curator at MASS MoCA, and Patricia Restrepo, Curator at CAMH.

Vincent Valdez, So Long, Mary Ann, 2019, oil on canvas, 63 x 96 inches, Collection of Mike Healy and Tim Walsh, Santa Barbara, CA.