Across four decades of his work, Terry Winters has been examining, in various iterations, the relationships between modernist abstraction, information systems, and the architecture of the natural world. Many of his earliest pain]ngs depict organic forms reminiscent of botanical imagery. Over time, his range of themes expanded to include the architecture of living systems, mathematical diagrams, musical notation, and new orders of data visualization.
After completing his studies at Pratt Institute in the early 1970s where he was immersed in the discourse of Post-Minimalism, Winters spent a decade, on his own, experimenting with painting both as material and as metaphor. Since his first one-person exhibition in 1982 at Sonnabend gallery, he has exhibited widely in the United States and Europe.
As Winters has said: “I’m trying to engineer the paintings to the point where there is a likeness, a sense of life – that the abstract images are somehow real”, a metaphoric sensibility reveals itself in the expressive language of resonant forms and figures throughout his paintings and works on paper.
The exhibition includes 6 new paintings and works on paper. Each painting depicts its own scalefree network, both cosmic and molecular. The disorienting scalar associations of Winters’ work has persisted since its beginning, testifying to his enduring interest in the imaging of patterns and systems that undergird the natural world.
As described in each title, this new body of work describes a dynamic landscape of shifting dimensions and locations, and a range of spatial demarcations. While the organisation of forms on the canvas continue – however loosely – to derive from a gridded structure, their configurations invent new spatial perspectives, appearing to bulge, bend and warp. And although the straightforward nature of their titles connotes something prosaic, Winters’ paintings are anything but. With their complex colours, experimental forms, and spirited application of paint, Winters’ works contain within themselves sets of possibilities: calculated and spontaneous, restrained and emotional – both technically determined and lyrically improvised.
Terry Winters (b. 1949) lives and works in New York City and Columbia County, New York. He has had one-person exhibitions at numerous museums, including the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London, the Kunsthalle Basel, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.