In The Village Voice RC Baker writes that there’s something hard-fought and heartening about Terry Winters’s new paintings at Matthew Marks. “Chunks of intense color tumble and collide across garish or sooty or muddy matrices. Like our times, they’re fraught, complex, and scarred over, but also haltingly optimistic….In a 1992 Bomb magazine interview, Winters recalled a ‘famous quote from Leonardo’s notebook about seeing figures in the stains on a wall,’ adding, ‘There seems to be almost a biological need to invest images with those kinds of readings.’ But if we have a driving instinct to discern faces in clouds or the Virgin Mary’s visage in a grilled-cheese sandwich, how can abstraction persevere? That has been Winters’s quest for nearly three decades. While his early observations led to paintings as pungent as the deadfall of leaves, roots, and worms in a dark forest, the later work seems an acknowledgment that the material world of our senses is being transcended—not by the philosophies or religions of yore but by cutting-edge science and computers. Paintings in one of his mid-’90s series were as flat as CAT scans, yet the curved, cratered contours were volatile, even sensuous; colors became hybrids of nature and technology, like radioactive dyes injected into the bloodstream to throw disease into high relief. In the new ‘Knotted Graphs’ paintings, Winters deploys strata of often-transparent pigments that bleed into one another, a crazy quilt that at first looks disparate and random until the ragged grids and cascades of bulbous shapes slowly, even laboriously, coalesce into beautiful bloom, an organic cyberspace.” Read more.
“Terry Winters: Knotted Graphs,” Matthew Marks, New York, NY. Through Jan. 24.