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Terry Winters Signal to Noise at IMMA
The first large-scale exhibition in Ireland by the renowned American artist Terry Winters opens to the public at the Irish Museum of Modern Art on Friday 12 June 2009. Terry Winters Signal to Noise examines the painter’s evolving relationship with abstract imagery, the central driving force of his work, as it has developed over the past ten years. The 40 paintings and drawings explore the cerebral spaces of information technology and issues of cognition and narration as they relate to abstract painting. Winters’ forcefully made works invoke modular forms and structures in an instinctive, symbolic language that sets out to encapsulate entire worlds. The relationship between the artist’s single large-scale works and his use of drawing and painting in serial presentations is also explored.
Terry Winters’ 30-year-long engagement with abstraction has encompassed a wide range of works; including early monochrome paintings incorporating unconventional materials, works based on botanical and biological processes and complex linear structures combined with rich colour fields. The exhibition takes up this narrative through some of his major series, beginning in 1997-98 with Graphic Primitives, dense compositions resembling circuit boards, maps and radar screens. Derived from the processes used to generate them, they combine an emphasis on the importance of the idea in the creative process with pure visual pleasure. Science also informs Set Diagram, 2000-02, 13 works drawn from a series of 100 paintings, each measuring one metre by one yard, containing a huge variety of forms inspired by the laws of optics and incorporating barcodes, meshes, wheels and charts. These, in turn, led on to paintings such as Composition and Luminance, both 2002, with their suggestions of mandalas, Ferris wheels and spinning cogs.
In the work, Display Linkage, 2005, the linear structure has become less important and, as in several of Winters’ earlier works, floating forms begin to appear, enveloping the viewer in a world of light and form. Signal to Noise, the work which gives the exhibition its title, is the culmination of a series of paintings from 2006 and presents a cloud-like image made up of various superimposed forms, which take on a mobile, ghostly form. The work In Blue, 2008, displays a spectral form floating above a grid, juxtaposing order and chaos, the rational and the irrational. In a recent interview Winters describes his intention in these works: “What I am trying to do is engineer pictures to the point where those figural components are there but not quite there. A tension develops between them becoming legible and illegible, or drifting off from one thing to the next.”
Writing in the catalogue of the exhibition, Enrique Juncosa, Director of IMMA and curator of the exhibition, describes how Winters, while participating in the aesthetic debates of his time, is also “heir to a tradition that includes some of the greatest names in abstraction – Kandinsky, Jackson Pollock and Cy Twombly – all of whom had a profound impact on 20th-century painting....Winters is without doubt, one of the leading painters maintaining the currency of abstraction after Minimalism. This exhibition at IMMA follows the exhibitions of Sean Scully in 1996 and Juan Uslé in 2003, both of whom are also part of this debate.”
Terry Winters was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1949. He received his BFA from Pratt University, New York, in 1971. Major international solo exhibitions include Tate Gallery, London, 1986; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1991; IVAM, Valencia, 1998; the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, 1999; Kunsthalle, Basel, 2000; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2001; Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, 2003, and the Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, Massachusetts, 2004. Winters is currently based in New York City and Columbia County, New York.
A fully-illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition and includes essays by Enrique Juncosa and American writers Francine Prose, Peter Lamborn Wilson and David Levi Strauss. The texts explore a range of subjects, from Hermeticism and Abstraction to the use of technical images in contemporary painting.
A limited edition print by Terry Winters, made especially for IMMA, is available.
Admission is free.
For further information and images please contact Monica Cullinane or Patrice Molloy at Tel: +353 1 612 9900, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
11 May 2009
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