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Trevor Winkfield

The Solitary Radish

January 28 – March 4, 2023

Trevor Winkfield, Eyewitnesses

Trevor Winkfield

Eyewitnesses

2019

Press Release

Trevor Winkfield

The Solitary Radish

January 28 to March 4, 2023

Tibor de Nagy Gallery is pleased to present Trevor Winkfield The Solitary Radish. In honor of his 10th exhibition with the gallery, the artist's friend and poet Peter Gizzi, wrote the following essay on the painter's work.

I’ve always been attracted to the energy in Trevor Winkfield’s painting. His uncanny ability to create an always compelling rhythm of objects within a picture field is kinetic. To me, his work conveys the drama of rhythm, of music, of the pleasure of composition.

Straight off, his sense of color is impeccable. It’s strange, original and a central aspect of his art. Winkfield is a colorist par excellence; it is one of his deep gifts. Ruskin tells us: “The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love color the most.” In a Winkfield canvas, color is sensational: it sings. Tonality becomes unique, singular, genetic. And when we look into one of his canvases the colors shift and come alive in relation to how they combine. Is the blue in one of the paintings The Solitary Radish deep periwinkle, plumbago, or the electric blue of the gloaming hour from his native England? Color—deeply saturated, astonishingly pleasing—moves in this work and so is, itself, moving.

Perspective in Winkfield’s work also leads to an experience of drama. You can access them from any quadrant. It’s momentous that so much can happen on such a two dimensional plane. His paintings couldn’t be more radically flat; they put me in mind of early Italian painting before linear perspective. While the saturation of paint on the canvas creates an evenness of surface, due in part by mixing a little white into his color palate, there is so much happening between the geometry of shapes within the picture field. The objects in his work, which he calls “elements,” are enigmatic, fragmented, stylized, and might be considered somewhat decorative in the sense of early art. They oscillate within the frame and broadcast mystery, never static and create a kind of hieratic joy.

This magical effect is also in part due to the precision of his brush strokes, i.e. his technique as a painter. In talking about his work over the years, visual artist friends have complimented Winkfield’s hand, and say to me, “yes, he can really paint,” which is meant to say that he is a true master of his medium.

To my mind Trevor Winkfield is a devotional artist and a true believer in the power of visual culture as a means to create mystery, depth, and revelation. There’s also no one like him in the field. He is a visionary.                                                                                                                                                              — Peter Gizzi

TREVOR WINKFIELD moved from his native England to New York City in 1969 and settled permanently. He sought out and befriended a group of like-minded artists and poets such as John Ashbery, Ron Padgett, James Schuyler, Rudy Burckhardt, and Edwin Denby, and on occasion collaborating with them on book covers and other projects. Since the 1970s Winkfield has had many solo exhibitions in New York and elsewhere. Currently he is in the group exhibition Come a Little Closer at DC Moore Gallery and will be in a group exhibition curated by Raphael Rubinstein at Marlborough Gallery this spring. Winkfield has received numerous awards, including a Pollock-Krasner Award and a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. In 2002, Winkfield was awarded the Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Artes et des Lettres by the French government. Winkfield, also a writer, has written extensively about art, in essays and reviews. He is the author of two books Georges Braque & Others: The Selected Art Writings of Trevor Winkfield, 1990-2009 and How I Became a Painter: Trevor Winkfield in Conversation with Miles Champion.

PETER GIZZI recent books include, Now It's Dark (Wesleyan, 2020), Sky Burial: New and Selected Poems (Carcanet, 2020), and Archeophonics (Wesleyan, 2016). A new book, Fierce Elegy, is forthcoming from Wesleyan in 2023. His honors include fellowships from The Rex Foundation, The Fund for Poetry, The Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and The Guggenheim Foundation. He has twice been the recipient of The Judith E. Wilson Visiting Fellowship in Poetry at the University of Cambridge. In 2018 Wesleyan brought out In the Air: Essays on the Poetry of Peter Gizzi. He teaches poetry and poetics in the MFA Program at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.