Terry Winters’s Allegiance to Science and Abstraction

Terry Winters, “Index 1” (2021), oil, wax, and resin on linen, 88 x 68 inches (all images © Terry Winters, Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery)

A list of words came to mind: field, layer, cluster, shape, line, frame, and diagram. They did not come all at once, but slowly, as I walked around the exhibition Terry Winters: Table of Contents at Matthew Marks Gallery (May 14–June 26, 2021). The accumulation of these words seemed to echo Winters’s paintings, which feel as if a series of different visual vocabularies have been both worked out and bonded on the painting’s surface. 

Drawing might be the jumping off point, a way to begin, but the additive process of painting inevitably takes over. Working in oil, wax, and resin on seven paintings, all measuring 88 by 68 inches, Winters begins with a thinly painted, brushy layer, which he may cover entirely or partially with a linear structure or pattern of abstract shapes. 

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