Venerable artist Roger Winter shows new oil portraits and a decade or more of collage and photomontage works at Kirk Hopper Fine Art this month. His ease working in various media and with various levels of abstraction is demonstrated beautifully.
The show contains three large new oil portraits – a favorite subject for Winter. Self-Portrait, cure a dramatically side-lit introspection, cialis reveals a visage that is curious, inquisitive, and youthful despite its number of birthdays. Jaye Murray is a five-foot tall profile portrait of a proud woman in a hat and coat. Winter’s palette is deliciously dark with lots of warm black working perfectly here. Profile portraits generally aren’t very revealing – we can’t see the subject’s eyes or expression – but Winter tells us everything we need to know about Jaye with the set of her jaw, her shoulders, and the angle of her hat. The final painting is Monty Arnold, a more traditional portrait composition than the other two. The hook in this painting is a bright sun shining in a window on the subject’s face and hair, illuminating both to bright white. Sunshine reflecting off the winter snow emits the kind of light Winter has captured here. It’s a stunning contrast to the other two darker portraits in the show and reveals the artist’s easy mastery of the effects of light on the human face.
The surface texture of Winter’s paintings is so interesting – it’s a confusion of short flittering brushstrokes scarred with bits of paint skin that have begun to dry on his palette. Nonetheless, the overall effect he achieves is both realistic and just painterly enough to be interestingly complex. Winter paints age with grace and honesty, and without a touch of sentimentality. The three faces in this show have seen years, but have a beauty and individuality that is undeniable.
Winter’s photomontages, which date from the 1960s, 1970s, and from the past decade are small signature studies. Often with that central moon or a figure walking away from the viewer, Winter creates a story with so little. Viewers will feel all the loneliness, the mystery, and the universality of subject in these images.
Finally, the wonderful collage portraits, based on quick sketchbook drawings in New York, where he resides part of the year, remind us how abstract Winter can work and still express personality. These are little character studies created with cut painted paper: with just a few shapes, a portrait emerges. My favorite is another profile portrait, this one a man wearing a stocking cap, Old Swedish Man. Here, we get ample detail in the subject’s posture and the few features Winter chooses to portray.
Also at Kirk Hopper this month, Keri Oldham exhibits watercolor paintings and a video in Space for All Endings. A series exploring the final screen shot from a movie – the one that declares, “The End” – and constellation scenes, Oldham reveals her love for cinema in this exhibition. Eduardo Portillo fills the outdoor space with An Allegory of Humor, three wonderful very large colorful soft clown sculptures partially suspended in funny animated poses, unfortunately a tad damp the day I visited from the previous night’s rain.