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Terry Winters: Facts & Fictions

Terry Winters once told photographer Adam Fuss, “The boundaries of the natural and the artificial aren’t so distinct.”1 In the Drawing Center’s Terry Winters: Facts & Fictions, Winters hammers that point home. Featuring seventy-eighty drawings spanning from the 1980s to the present, the exhibition examines Winters’s history, his belief in linking abstraction with the real world, and challenging the perceptions around the two. However, rather than presenting the drawings as a retrospective, Claire Gilman’s curation emphasizes the morphological relationships between the works across time. This approach adds another layer to the exhibition, demonstrating the drawings’ ability to mimic and depict real-life images just long enough for them to be captured by the human eye.

Winters’s work is rooted in the artist’s ability to conjure images of the outside world while balancing the ambiguity of an abstract drawing. Gilman quotes French critic Alain Badiou in her catalogue essay when she notes, “a true Drawing is not a copy of something. It is a constructive deconstruction of something and much more real than the initial thing.”2 In Winters’s early work, that constructive deconstruction is clear; Botanical Subject (1981), for instance, features a charcoal and chalk drawing of two different plant bulbs hanging suspended in the air. Challenging the image, each bulb extends its presence from the middle outward....

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