“Amanda Durant: Postings from New York”

a traveling exhibition organized by Room & Board

Amanda Durant is a painter who lives in Manhattan. Just before New York City shut down she purchased watercolor supplies, guessing – correctly – that she would not be able to have access to the facilities and scale afforded to her by her studio in Brooklyn, and would be working from home for a while. Throughout the pandemic, Amanda has captured miniature scenes from a Lower Manhattan shrunken down to a single dog-walker, a delivery bike, a helicopter circling overhead. When those streets grew crowded again, Amanda’s paintings filled back up, too.

Watercolor, a merciless medium, is both celebrated and cursed (by artists) for its immediacy: each stroke is unpredictable, and revision nearly impossible. These small works, at once spontaneous and careful, betray a painter’s hard-won expertise and relentless looking, and they demand the intimacy of the naked eye. They must be seen in person, and that is precisely what we proposed to you.

Amanda prepared six small exhibitions of these works – so small that each show fits snugly in a USPS box. 30 volunteers, five per show, agreed to host these miniature exhibitions in their homes. Amanda shipped them out in early November, and you may track their progress throughout the U.S. here:

All exhibition hosts were asked to document their installation and to contribute an essay to the exhibition catalogue, which will be published after the end of the tour.

A small watercolor painting of a cyclist depicted head-on. The style is loose and the background indistinct. The painting is attached to a white wall by a silver binder clip hung on a silver push-pin.
Amanda Durant, 2020.