October 18, 2020


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Lot 19: Terry Winters

Lot 19: Terry Winters

Logical Cube

Acrylic and oil crayon on paper
Signed and dated in graphite upper right edge of sheet; retains Matthew Marks Gallery label frame verso
Composition/sheet: 41.5" x 29.75"; Frame: 50.375" x 38.25" (Composition/sheet: 105 x 75 cm)
Provenance: Matthew Marks Gallery, New York, New York; Private Collection, California (acquired directly from the above, 1997)
Exhibited: "Terry Winters," traveling exhibition, Institut Valencia d'Art Modern (IVAM), Valencia, December 17, 1998-January 10, 1999; Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, February 19-April 25, 1999
Illustrated: Terry Winters. IVAM Centre del Carme/Whitechapel Art Gallery exh. cat. 1999. 114.
Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000
Price Realized: $25,000
Inventory Id: 38019


Hybrids to their core, the abstract paintings of Terry Winters (b. 1949) emerge from a deliberately cultivated blend of spontaneity and structure. For Winters, the connection between process and picture-making is constantly evolving, and his interdisciplinary interests — in “natural science, jazz, computers, fractals, balloons, the world of Edgar Allan Poe and the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze” — have yielded such defining works as the 1997 work on paper Logical Cube.

“[Winters] draws together the most advanced aesthetic debates that preceded him,” offer Juan Manuel Bonet and Catherine Lampert, introducing their Winters retrospective. His oeuvre, they argue, “would be unthinkable before Minimalism” and evidences “an ongoing interest in merging concept and representation as well as exploring semantic systems.”

While Winters’s early paintings maintained a minimal aesthetic and presented legible images drawn from natural history, his later work expands upon his desire to represent “real” forms difficult to identify apart from their context. Richard Axsom notes, “As [Winters] revised and elaborated upon his earlier vocabularies of botanical forms, new shapes began to crowd the page. Spheres and ovoids opened into extended patterns, often with honeycombed interiors, suggesting irregular grid geometries.” Such “new shapes” are on full display in Logical Cube, exemplary of this period, and its tangled lines merging at the center evoke another Winters motif, rhizomatic structure.

Alchemizing the tensions of universal order and chaos for full effect, Winters managed to imbue works like Logical Cube with his own distinct energy. “I want the pictures to have an associative power,” Winters stated, “a sense of life.”

Axsom, Richard H. “The Philosophers’ Stone: The Prints of Terry Winters.” Samet, Jennifer. “Beer with a Painter: Terry Winters.” Hyperallergic. February 7, 2015. Terry Winters. IVAM/Whitechapel