paul cava FINE ART

Terry Winters

The artist Terry Winters has been exploring the expanded field of abstraction in his paintings since the 1970s, using forms of figuration drawn from the natural and technological worlds as sources of inspiration. Throughout his career, he has explored abstraction in terms of complex formulas of layers, patterns, and symbols. "My approach," Winters once said of his working process, "uses construction to provoke unpredictable, surprising images that emerge and become recognizable."


Initially, Winters created works based on botanical imagery such as seeds, cells, and spores; later he became inspired by biological processes and scientific and mathematical theories. His art is highly process-driven and speaks to the interaction between technology and the human mind. Though symbolic, his images are consistent with the Modernist legacy of physicality and non-narrative abstraction.


By 1979, Winters had begun to create the biomorphic abstractions for which he became known. Since then his practice has been to draw his imagery from biological renderings of cells, molecules, crystals, shells, plants, and human organs, which he enlarges and subjects to an abstracting process, resulting in works that are rich in ambiguity and allusion. His works range from highly abstract arrangements of anonymous shapes to more literal depictions of natural forms. Recently Winters has begun to render more diagrammatically complex imagery, creating works that are emotionally evocative and suggestive of sexual experiences.


Winters's organic forms serve as metaphors for the act of painting. He often suggests a parallel between images of cells and molecules, which are the basis of life, and the techniques of painting, which are the foundation of a work of art. In addition to oils, Winters has also been a prolific producer of drawings, gouaches, and prints, including lithographs and etchings. He made his first prints with Universal Limited Art Editions in 1982.