July 12, 2011

Terry Winters: Printed Works

        Here's another artist I offer by way of variety and interest.  To quote the blurb from a 2001-2002 exhibition of his prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, "Born in 1949, the American artist Terry Winters is primarily known for his painting and drawings.  He is also, however, one of the most distinguished printmakers working today."
        To my mind, one of the more interesting of his series is called Graphic Primitives, and was done in 1998.  These woodcuts are printed with white (or possibly grey?) ink on dark paper, so that, unlike most relief prints, what Winters has carved are the lines that appear black in the prints.  My son P remarks, "They just look like scribbles to me," and so they do.  However, I think when the pieces are all grouped together there's a certain pleasing pattern to them, like frost on a windowpane.
        It seems to me, looking at the variety of his prints (which you can do at the collections of the Colby Museum of Art and the Met) that Winters must be a lot more interested in drawing than in printing.  He clearly favors print techniques that allow him essentially to draw, and then have his drawings reproduced.  He doesn't do the actual printing himself, but has it done by professional print workshops.  In the Graphic Primitives series he uses "backwards" ink and paper so that he can carve the lines he wants, and I think he's used a different technique to the same effect in this piece, from his
Shadowgraphs series.  This piece is labelled as a wood engraving, which normally would indicate a relief print.  It looks to me, however, as if it must have been printed as an intaglio plate.  That is, the ink is forced into the carved lines and wiped away from the rest of the plate, so that what prints is what is carved, not what is left behind.
        In any case, although I'll probably never number among Winters's biggest fans, these pieces caught my eye, and I thought a little something different would keep us all on our toes!

[Pictures: Graphic Primitives, portfolio of 9 woodcuts by Terry Winters, 1998 (image from Barbara Krakow Gallery);
Graphic Primitives, 4, woodcut by T. Winters, 1998;
Shadowgraphs, 2, wood engraving by T. Winters, 2002.]

PS.  Until July 15, lulu.com, which prints many of my books, is offering a 20% off coupon on everything.  Now's the time to buy my books for yourself and as gifts for everyone you know!   ;)

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