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With Swirling Abstract Paintings, Terry Winters Captures the Alluring Chaos of the Information Age

You’re probably reading these words on an electronic screen controlled by a long strand of ones and zeroes. Your body itself is a strand of As, Ts, Gs, and Cs twisted into a double helix. Like it or not, everything is data now. Scientists have gradually discovered a way of thinking about life, the universe, and everything else: as a complex, mathematical code.

No contemporary artist understands this better than Terry Winters. Over the course of his four-decade career—the subject of a retrospective at the Drawing Center in Manhattan, on view through August 12th—Winters has produced paintings, drawings, and prints that mirror advances in science by interpreting reality as an endlessly evolving chunk of data. In his work, mysterious shapes and patterns swirl in and out of focus, prompting a host of different and even opposite interpretations: Organic and artificial, beautiful and chaotic, alluring and sinister. You could say the same about the entire Information Age....

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