Terry Winters - profile, contemporary art

Terry Winters

United States 1949

Painting, Prints


Terry Winters
Terry Winters
United States
April 8, 2016

Terry Winters is an American painter and printmaker influenced by minimalism and non-narrative abstraction and his work represents various organic shapes, tangled forms and abstracted images of plants and flowers. At the same time, his painting are unique artistic references to scientific processes. Winters is interested in biology, chemistry, mineralogy and natural pigments and his art aims at exploring these areas in an unconventional and intuitive way. Winters’ work  has become more detailed over time, but his process of preparing the materials for his paintings remained intact – almost like a scientist, Winter is always doing a small research before the actual process of painting  and assembling collages of references.

Winters’ work represents various organic shapes, tangled forms and abstracted images of plants and flowers

Terry Winters - Colony, 1982 terry new york information contact
Terry Winters – Colony, 1982

Interest in Pigments and Mineralogy

Winters was born in Brooklyn, NY and studied at the prestigious Pratt Institute. He graduated in 1971, with a BFA in fine arts. Already as a student, Winters was interested in minimalism and wanted to explore for himself the reductive tendencies of the contemporary art. He was very diligent in his study and also quite secretive, because he was working silently for ten years after his graduation, not showing his work to anyone except to a small group of fellow artists. At the same time, he was collecting and reading books on pigments, biology, and mineralogy, because he wanted his art to explore the metaphoric potential of natural processes and materials. In the late 1970s, Winters already excelled in his study of pigments and his focus turned to creating spatial illusions in paintings. This time, he wanted to learn how to give a certain three-dimensionality to non-representational forms. This new interest of Winters’ is clearly visible in his paintings from the 80s, which are featuring complex and tangled paths, with the goal of creating the sense of depth.

Winters’ art is exploring the metaphoric potential of natural processes and materials

Terry Winters - Rhyme, 1992 gallery exhibition field marks terry new york gallery exhibition field marks
Terry Winters – Rhyme, 1992

Interfering Patterns

Rich colorful patterns are common for the entire Winters’ body of work. His paintings consist of many layers and intersecting or blending patterns . He often begins his artworks with the combination of interfering structures – for example, he combines wavy lines and strict grids, or helixes and grids. The transparency of his oil paints and the simplicity of his colors are some of the main characteristics of his work. Also, this limited palette of colors is allowing Winters to avoid the impression of chaos, no matter how complicated are his patterns. Winters is creating a very specific chaos – calm, controlled and constrained chaos. Almost like a mathematician Winters is carefully planning his brushstrokes and choice of colors,but at the same time, he leaves enough space for uncertainties and surprises.

Winters is creating a very specific chaos – calm, controlled and constrained one

Terry Winters - Dumb Compass, 1985
Terry Winters – Dumb Compass, 1985 york gallery

Evolution of Winters’ Art

Winters drawings and paintings have been shown at numerous solo and group exhibitions so far, including the important retrospective Whitney Museum of American ArtIrish Museum of Modern Art and the prestigious show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He often works with a couple of fellow artists, like Tony Cragg and Stephen Mueller, who are having the similar interest in organic abstraction and the impact of modern technologies on artistic tendencies. Winters’ work has gone through a perceptible evolution since the 90s, which can be easily spotted on his most recent artworks. Nowadays the artist tends to shift from large to small scale works, his compositions are looser and his forms more ambiguous. Along the same lines, the typical architectural grids he used the use in the past are gone or ended up completely abstracted. However, Winters’ main source of inspiration are still the natural sciences and information systems.

Winters’ work has gone through a perceptible evolution since the 90s

Terry Winters - Cricket Music, 2012 gallery
Terry Winters – Cricket Music, 2012

Turning Away from the Tangible

Winters has been creating his puzzling abstract paintings inspired by the natural processes for longer than 30 years now and his easily recognizable bio-forms, such as cellular structures, molecules, plants and shellfish became his trademark motifs. What is even more interesting is the fact that Winters never stopped growing as an artist and after he achieved a worldwide success, he continued to explore the abstract minimalism and turned away from the tangible even more, guided by the digital technology advances. Winters’ interest in exploring space and challenging himself in unconventional ways has extended to installation nowadays, offering even more exciting material for his audience.

Terry Winters lives and works in New York.

Featured image: Winters’ portrait
All images courtesy of the artist.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2015Terry Winters: Prints 1999-2014Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark Solo
2015Intimacy in Discourse: Reasonable and Unreasonable Sized PaintingsMana Contemporary, Jersey City, NJGroup
2015NEW NEW YORK: Abstract Painting in the 21st CenturyArt Gallery at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa, HonoluluGroup
2015Fresh Prints: The Nineties to NowCleveland Museum of ArtGroup
2015Line: Making the MarkMuseum of Fine Arts, HoustonGroup
2015De Picasso à Jasper JohnsCentre de la Gravure et de l'image imprimée, La Laouvière, Belgium Group
2014patterns in a chromatic fieldMatthew Marks Gallery, Los Angeles Solo
2014Red Green Yellow BlueT Space, Rhinebeck, NYSolo
2014Prints 1999–2014Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich Solo
2014Traveled to LouisianaMuseum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, DenmarkSolo
2014Printed MattersColby College Museum of Art, Waterville, MESolo
2014Anderson CollectionStanford University, CAGroup
2014XLGeorgia Museum of Art, AthensGroup
2014The City Lost and Found: Capturing New York, Chicago, and Los AngelesArt Institute of ChicagoGroup
2013Clocks and CloudsPeder Lund, OsloSolo
2013Ileana Sonnabend: Ambassador for the NewThe Museum of Modern Art, New YorkGroup
2013The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty StatesSeattle Art Museum
In Parts, Whitney Museum of Art, New York
2013Steve di Benedetto/Terry WintersThe National Exemplar Gallery, New YorkGroup
2012Cricket Music, Tessellation Figures, & NotebookMatthew Marks Gallery, New York Solo
2012Printmaking ABC, in Memorian David P. BeckerBowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, MEGroup
2012Affinity AtlasRuth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art, Hamilton College, Clinton, NYGroup
2012Pressing Print: Universal Limited Art Editions 2000-2010Syracuse University Art Galleries, NYGroup
2012Darren Almond, Katharina Fritsch, Martin Honert, Gary Hume, Paul Sietsema, Rebecca Warren, Terry WintersMatthew Marks Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
2012Wave Hill GroupPatrick De Brock Gallery, Knokke, BelgiumGroup
2011A New Description of NatureRichard A. and Rissa W. Grossman Gallery, Lafayette College, Easton, PASolo
2011Tankstelle Martin Bormann: New Acquisitions for the CollectionMuseum Folkwang, Essen, GermanyGroup
2011Recent Acquisitions: Prints and PhotographsNew York Public LibraryGroup
2011Measuring the World: Heterotopias and Knowledge SpacesKunsthaus Graz, AustriaGroup
2011MultiplicitySmithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.Group
2011Highlights of the Peter Blum Edition ArchiveMuseum of Fine Arts, HoustonGroup
2010Linking Graphics, Prints 2000-2010Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College, Portland, ORSolo
2010New Work: Katharina Fritsch, Robert Gober, Nan Goldin, Andreas Gursky, Martin Honert, Charles Ray, Terry WintersMatthew Marks Gallery, New York
2010New Works: Prints, Drawings, CollagesMuseum of Fine Arts, BostonGroup
2010On Line: Drawing Through the Twentieth CenturyThe Museum of Modern Art, New YorkGroup
2009Signal to NoiseIrish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin Solo
2009Passionately Provocative: The Stoffel CollectionPinakothek der Moderne, MunichGroup
2009Mixografia: Innovation and CollaborationPortland Art Museum, ORGroup
2009Nueva York: El Papel de las Ultimas VanguardiasMuseo de Arte Contemporáneo Esteban Vicente, Segovia, Spain
2009Contemporary Prints: 1999 – 2009Today Art Museum, Beijing
2009The Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection: Selected WorksNational Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
2009Burroughs LiveRoyal Academy of Arts, LondonGroup
2008Knotted GraphsMatthew Marks Gallery, New YorkSolo
2008Order. Desire. Light. An exhibition of contemporary drawingsIrish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin Group
2008"Listen Darling… The World is Yours"Ellipse Foundation, Cascais, PortugalGroup
2008Paper Trail II: Passing Through CloudsRose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, MAGroup
2008Gouge: The Modern Woodcut 1870 to NowHammer Museum, Los AngelesGroup
2007Works on PaperSchick Art Gallery, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NYSolo
2007Multiplex: Directions in Art, 1970 to NowThe Museum of Modern Art, New YorkGroup
2007Recent Acquisitions from Grunwald Center for Graphic ArtsHammer Museum, Los AngelesGroup
2007PaperFisher Landau Center for Art, New YorkGroup
2007Artistic Collaborations: 50 Years at Universal Limited Art EditionsThe Museum of Modern Art, New YorkGroup
2007Merce Cunningham: Dancing on the Cutting Edge, Part IMuseum of Contemporary Art, MiamiGroup
2006 Sketchbook Pages and Tokyo NotesSchick Art Gallery, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NYSolo
2006 Verre + DessinsMusée departemental du compagnonnage, Solutré, France

2006 Recent DrawingsMatthew Marks Gallery, New YorkGroup
2006 Drawings and Works on Paper from the IMMA CollectionIrish Museum of Modern Art, DublinGroup
2006 Singular Multiples: The Peter Blum Edition Archive 1980 – 1994Museum of Fine Arts, HoustonGroup
2005 Notes for Color Coding: Paintings and Monoprints by Terry WintersMatthew Marks Gallery, New YorkSolo
2005 Prints & SequencesColby College Museum of Art, Waterville, MESolo
2005 Artists & Prints: Part 3The Museum of Modern Art, New YorkGroup
2005 Drawing from the Modern: 1975-2005The Museum of Modern Art, New YorkGroup
2005 Building and Breaking the GridWhitney Museum of American Art, New York Group
2005 Sets, Series, and Suites: Contemporary PrintsMuseum of Fine Arts, BostonGroup
2005 Remote Viewing Whitney Museum of American Art, New YorkGroup
2005 Contemporary Voices: Works from the UBS Art CollectionThe Museum of Modern Art, New YorkGroup
2004 1981-1986Matthew Marks Gallery, New YorkSolo
2004 Paintings, Drawings, Prints 1994-2004The Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, MASolo
2004 Local Group/New Work on PaperPratt Manhattan Gallery, New York Solo
2004 New Additions: Prints for an American MuseumWhitney Museum of American Art, New YorkGroup
2004 Behind Closed DoorsKatonah Museum of Art, NY Group
2004 The Print ShowExit Art, New YorkGroup
2004 Tear Down This Wall: Paintings from the 1980sMuseum of Contemporary Art, Los AngelesGroup
2004 Artistas de la Coleccion del IVAMInstitut Valencià d'Art Modern, SpainGroup
2004 Hanga: Waves of East-West Cultural InterchangeHagi Uragami Museum, TokyoGroup
2003Paintings and DrawingsMatthew Marks Gallery, New YorkSolo
2003Turbulence Skins: Working ProofsThe Leroy Neiman Gallery, Columbia University, New YorkSolo
2003 Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective of DrawingsWhitney Museum of American Art, New YorkGroup
2003 Under Pressure: Prints from Two Palms PressArthur A. Houghton Jr. Gallery, The Cooper Union, New YorkGroup
2003 Visions & Revisions: Art on Paper since 1960Museum of Fine Arts, BostonGroup
2003 On Paper: Masterworks from the Addison CollectionAddison Gallery of American Art, Andover, MAGroup
2002 20 Years/20 ArtistsAspen Art Museum Group
2002 Trisha Brown: Dance and Dialogue, 1961-2001Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, MAGroup
2001 DrawingsMatthew Marks Gallery, New York Solo
2001 Printed WorksMetropolitan Museum of Art, New York Solo
2001 Mythic Proportions: Painting in the 1980’sMuseum of Contemporary Art, Miami Group
2001 Repetition in DiscourseThe Painting Center, New YorkGroup
2001 American Identities: A New LookBrooklyn MuseumGroup
2000 Lasting Impressions/Contemporary Prints from the Bruce Brown CollectionPortland Museum of Art, MEGroup
2000 Celebrating Modern Art: The Anderson CollectionSan Francisco Museum of Modern Art Group
1999 Graphic PrimitivesMatthew Marks Gallery, New York Solo
1999 DrawingsWhitechapel Gallery, London Solo
1999Trisha Brown/Terry WintersMassachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, MAGroup
1999Art in America 2000Ambassador Speilvogel’s Residence, Bratislava, SlovakiaGroup
1998Prints by Terry WintersDetroit Institute of ArtSolo
1998FolioVictoria and Albert Museum, LondonSolo
1998 Painting: Now and Forever: Part IMatthew Marks Gallery and Pat Hearn Gallery, New YorkGroup
1998Elements of the Natural: 1950-1992The Museum of Modern Art, New YorkGroup
1997 Computation of ChainsMatthew Marks Gallery, New York Solo
1997 Recent WorksSchool of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Solo
1997Views from Abroad: European Perspectives on American Art 3 / American RealitiesWhitney Museum of American Art, New YorkGroup
1996Natural ProcessWilliams Center for the Arts, Lafayette College, Easton, PAGroup
1996An American StoryWhitney Museum of American Art, New YorkGroup
1995 Reinventing the EmblemYale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CTGroup
1995 25 Americans: Painting in the 90’sMilwaukee Art Museum Group
1995 New York AbstractContemporary Arts Center, New OrleansGroup
1995 10 + 10New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture, New York Group
1992WintersWhitney Museum of American Art, New York Solo