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Davidson Gallery is very pleased to present Gratitudes, a solo exhibition of new works on paper by Glendalys Medina. The exhibition consists of 16 drawings from the past year while Medina lived and worked alone in New York City through the pandemic. Suffering from a state of despair and isolation, the artist found solace in caring for and walking their mother’s dog, Willa. The responsibility of caring for something outside of themself gave Medina a different perspective on the pandemic and the time spent alone. On each walk with the dog, Medina gave themself an exercise: to find something to be grateful for and, generally, to cultivate an attitude of gratitude. After each walk, they would return to the studio, using color and line to document the moment. The resulting series of color studies became a marker of time, emotion, and appreciation for things both large and small.
Each drawing is dated, representing an abstract but still human representation of mood and emotion in real time during a period in which time itself took on a very different and elastic meaning to individuals. Everyone has coped differently from the earliest fearful stages of the pandemic, through lockdown, and towards a hopeful future. Gratitude is an emotion that is felt, but also given. For Medina, the light at the end of the tunnel was brightened both by the expressionistic act of drawing, but also through willful determination to find ways to both be grateful and give thanks.
Glendalys Medina is a Nuyorican conceptual interdisciplinary visual artist who was born in Puerto Rico and raised in the Bronx. Medina received an MFA from Hunter College and has presented artwork at such notable venues as PAMM, Participant Inc., Performa 19, Artists Space, The Bronx Museum of Art, El Museo del Barrio, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Vigo, Spain, and The Studio Museum in Harlem among others. Medina was a recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant (2020), a Jerome Hill Foundation Fellowship (2019), an Ace Hotel New York City Artist Residency (2017), a SIP fellowship at EFA Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop (2016), a BACK IN FIVE MINUTES artist residency at El Museo Del Barrio (2015), a residency at Yaddo (2014, 2018), the Rome Prize in Visual Arts (2013), a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Interdisciplinary Art (2012), and the Bronx Museum Artist in the Marketplace residency (2010). Medina is currently a professor at SVA’s MFA Art Practice program and lives and works in New York. This is their first solo exhibition with Davidson Gallery.