Terry Winters

The large-scale paintings by Terry Winters span the years 1983 to 1993 and exemplify Winters’ evolution as a painter.

Winters began his artistic career in the early 1970s and by the early ‘80s began to exhibit his work publicly. His paintings are now known internationally. Winters’ early paintings are based on organic forms that reflect the intimate, natural world of creation. His most recent work, however, has evolved to reflect an “all-overness” aesthetic found in the paintings of Jackson Pollack and the Abstract Expressionists, in which the “parts” of the picture surface have been integrated into a “whole.” Winters’ canvasses, however, take this “all-overness” of the Abstract Expressionists further. His paintings seem to soar over and envelop the viewer, making Winters’ audience part of his personal and unique “whole.”

In the late ‘60s, when Winters entered the Pratt Institute in New York to study painting, he was fully aware of what some have termed the “demise of modernism.” At the time, artists displayed a self-consciousness about their position in the development of modernism and waited for the next giant leap forward in painting. Winters possessed a strong desire to produce his paintings “from the ground up” – that is, he ground his own pigments and made his own paint. He collected books on natural pigments, which detailed their mineral sourced and molecular structure. 

Winters’ interest in the process of creation is also reflected in his preference to produce paintings as parts of series. The exhibit features two 1993 canvasses, 1 of 5 and 2 of 5, which show this partiality. These recent canvasses display a level of complexity not found in Winters’ earlier paintings. The painted surfaces are completely integrated; there is no differentiation between figure and ground. The sensuous picture plane remains tactile and undulating, but now alludes to the essence of “wholeness.” Each part is dependent upon the other, as well as interrelated to the entire canvas.

Born in 1949 in Brooklyn, New York, Terry Winters graduated from Pratt Institute in 1971 with a BFA. 

The gallery guide includes an essay, “The Mobius Mind,” by Jerry Saltz, art critic New York, New York.

This exhibition has been generously supported by the Jules and Doris Stein Foundation and by Marti and Tony Oppenheimer.