The luminous and sensuous Graphic Primitives paintings of New York-based artist Terry Winters are informed by a wide variety of sources ranging from architectural drawing and medical photography to computer graphics and direct observation. For Winters, painting is a non-linear process—an accumulation of marks made in oil paint, resin and wax, with different speeds, temperatures and emotional tones. The mark-making constitutes the artist's free-flowing interpretation and improvised responses made as the painting evolves. In the new works, Winter's tactile paint marks are often impacted and layered; and in some areas, the paint asserts itself as a viscous, sensuous material, while in others, it is layered in translucent veils of colour with the lustre and luminosity of stained glass.
Many of Winter's paintings seem to emit light and warmth, as if from a heated core. His individual painted gestures build into patterns and shapes out of which an image gradually emerges. In one of the two works exhibited, Graphic Primitives, #5 (1998), the centralised image is made up of thousands of red facets suggesting various hypothetical worlds consisting of viscera, molecules or cells, as well as complex social organisations such as cities, hives or colonies. Another painting, Graphic Primitives, #6 (1998), features a large, bifurcated image that suggests the generation and procreation of a primeval life form, which can, in a Rorschach-like mirroring, fold in on and repeat itself.
Winters sets general procedural rules for his paintings. For Graphic Primitives, he used a restricted palette of red, blue, and yellow, black and white across the nine canvases. Despite these set limits, each painting is still open to any number of possibilities and chance developments.
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