New American Paintings/Blog


Terry Winters at Matthew Marks: Expressionism, Meet Science by New American Paintings
February 21, 2012, 8:15 am
Filed under: New York, Review | Tags: , ,

On view at Matthew Marks are eleven large-scale paintings by Terry Winters. Each contains a web of diamonds, triangles, and rhombuses, which in places drift apart, and in others cling around invisible ripples, double-helixes, globes. Some are flat, chalky, and rug-like, while others recall wombs with thin, vibrant washes and cells in arranged in dimensional basket weaves. – Read more from NYC Contributor Whitney Kimball after the jump!


Terry Winters | Tessellation Figures (1), 2011, oil on linen, 80 x 76 inches, Courtesy Matthew Marks

Winters has long held an interest in natural and scientific forms; the press release cites his initial fascination with “cells, spores and seeds,” which progressed to “biological processes, scientific and mathematical fields, and issues raised by the interaction of information technologies and the human mind.” The cells, spores, and seeds, at least, appear throughout; in Tessellation Figures (1), little green dots gravitate toward a yolk in a translucent green orb- like frog spawn. In Tessellation Figures (7), pink dots recall blood cells, intertwined through the center of the painting. The same dominant wreath pattern is overlayed on top of each painting. The swarming ebb and flow around the room recall forces beyond our control.


Terry Winters | Tessellation Figures, 2011, oil on linen, 88 x 112 inches, Courtesy Matthew Marks

This is a strange sensation when expressed through brushy marks and cumbly layers of oil paint: abstract expression, the bastion of self-hood and free will, against the all-encompassing tide of nature and time. Winters even seems to express this relationship within the shapes themselves, especially in Tessellation Figures, where small, regular cells appear to cluster together to form irregular, self-contained forms.

Winters presents the fact of all-encompassing biological patterns; there is nothing more than this, he seems to insist- but his own visual language is evidence of something else. He claims to be interested in combining art and science- “our two ways of finding out about the world.” Perhaps typical of both fields, not much is discovered, but questions are asked.


Terry Winters | Tessellation Figures (10), 2011, oil on linen, 80 x 76 inches, Courtesy Matthew Marks

Terry Winters (born 1949) lives and works in New York City and Columbia County, New York. He has had solo exhibitions at Tate Gallery, London (1986); the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1992); Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (1998); the Kunsthalle Basel (2000); The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2001); and the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2009).

Terry Winters: Cricket Music, Tessellation Figures, & Notebook, will be on view at the Matthew Marks Gallery at 522 West 22nd Street and 502 West 22nd Street (between 10th and 11th Avenues), from February 4 through April 14, 2012. Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 11:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M.

Whitney Kimball is a New York-based painter and art writer.

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