Emi Winter “Afternoon Formations”

Minus Space

poster for Emi Winter “Afternoon Formations”
[Image: Emi Winter "Number 11" (2020) Oil on canvas, 60 x 48 in.]

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MINUS SPACE presents the exhibition Emi Winter: Afternoon Formations. This is the South Orange, New Jersey-based artist’s first solo show at the gallery and it will feature a new suite of conceptual, figurative paintings produced during the past year and a half.

For three decades, Emi Winter has made artworks that employ an open array of pictorial languages, ranging from geometric and gestural abstraction to visceral figuration. She regularly works across a broad range of media including painting, printmaking, and textiles, which are created in collaboration with master artisans in Mexico.

Winter’s innovative series of paintings presented in Afternoon Formations feature a solitary, acrobatic, human-like form placed into a highly-reduced interior environment overlooking a naturalistic landscape. Painted flatly in warm yellow hues, the sinewy, headless figure forms are halved into fore- and background layers and arch over backwards with their fingers grasping for their toes. The layered composition of these figures elicits a simultaneous clockwise and counterclockwise movement. The light source in these paintings is deliberately ambiguous creating unnatural shadows below the figures.

About the figures, Winter states, “The initial drawing of the figure was fast, automatic, and the result of many experiments making gymnastic, contorted bodies. The figure is headless because I wanted it to be a creature-like form and concentrate the expression in the extremities. The hands, which I also think of as mouths, are open to receive, maybe devour, the feet.”

The landscapes depicted in most of Winter’s new paintings are sourced directly from afternoon views from her third-floor studio window in East Orange, New Jersey. She paints these viewpoints rapidly in real time akin to the plein air painting tradition.

By contrast, however, the remaining areas of her paintings are created slowly and methodically over time. Winter continues, “On days when I’m going to paint the sky, I usually have to wait until the afternoon for the clouds to form in dense and interesting ways. I want the sky view to be specific so I paint the clouds as I see them out of my studio window. The paintings are thus markers of time and location. Because the clouds are always moving, I have to paint fast. The rest of the painting is slow, layered, and about calibrating color in relation to the sky.”

Emi Winter (b. 1973) was born and raised in Oaxaca, Mexico. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally for the past two decades, most recently at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles, CA), High Museum (Atlanta, GA), National Gallery of Art (Washington DC), Ulterior Gallery (New York, NY), The Suburban (Milwaukee, WI), Parker Gallery (Los Angeles, CA), Maine College of Art (Portland, ME), and V1 Gallery (Copenhagen, Denmark).

In 2011 she was awarded the Acquisition Prize for the XV Edition of the Rufino Tamayo Painting Biennial in Mexico. She has also completed residencies at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas, and Ateliers Hoeherweg in Dusseldorf, Germany. Her work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Museo Nacional de la Estampa, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca (all Mexico), McNay Art Museum (San Antonio, TX), and the Grunwald Center for Graphic Arts / Hammer Museum (Los Angeles, CA).

Winter has also curated solo exhibitions of the work of Andrea Sala and Martin Mele for the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca (Mexico) and co-curated our collaborative survey exhibition Minus Space en Oaxaca, which was presented simultaneously by five distinguished cultural institutions in the city in 2012.

Winter earned her BA in visual arts from Oberlin College and MFA in painting from Bard College. She currently lives in South Orange, New Jersey, and teaches bilingual art classes to Latino immigrants at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey in Summit.



from May 08, 2021 to July 31, 2021

Opening Reception on 2021-05-08 from 14:00 to 17:00


Emi Winter

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