Terry Winters

  • Ellsworth Kelly, Ground Zero, 2003, collage on newsprint, 11 1/2 × 13 1/2". © Ellsworth Kelly.

    Terry Winters

    THE TRAJECTORY IS WELL KNOWN, from Newburgh to Spencertown, with some significant stops in between—rural Jersey, Boston and Paris, Coenties Slip and Chatham. Paintings are the signposts left along the way, color-coded markers of distance and direction. An abstract autobiography. Ellsworth Kelly sharpened his instinctive feeling for form with an exacting modernist sensibility. But despite the rigor and the reduced means, his work was essentially popular, made accessible through a selection of found sources: a shadow, a leaf, an architectural detail. Each familiar object is given an independent

  • Willem de Kooning, Orestes, 1947, enamel and paper on board, 24 1/8 x 36 1/8.


    DESPITE THE UNDIMINISHED reputation of Willem de Kooning as one of America’s preeminent gestural abstractionists, more than a quarter century has passed since his work was last afforded a comprehensive museum survey in the US. This fall, the Museum of Modern Art in New York brings that interregnum to a close with “De Kooning: A Retrospective,” organized by the institution’s curator emeritus, John Elderfield. In anticipation of the exhibition’s opening in September, artist Terry Winters spoke with Elderfield about de Kooning and the important lessons of abstraction still to be gleaned from the painter’s transformative work.

    TERRY WINTERS: How do you begin putting together an exhibition like this—what’s the strategy? Do you start with a certain set of questions or concerns?

    JOHN ELDERFIELD: Yes, but the questions also come along as you’re working. In fact, at a certain point, they just start rolling down the hill at you. And certainly some of the motivation is simply feeling that it’s an exhibition I’d like to see myself.

    The past twenty years have brought us major retrospectives of the work of Jackson Pollock, Barnett Newman, and Mark Rothko, but the last de Kooning retrospective was back in 1983, at the Whitney.

  • Henri Cartier-Bresson, World’s Fair, Brussels, Belgium, 1958, black-and-white photograph, 12 x 8 1/8". © Henri Cartier-Bresson/Magnum Photos.


    To take stock of the past year, Artforum contacted an international group of artists to find out which exhibitions and events were, in their eyes, the very best of 2010.


    Jean-Pascal Flavien, No Drama House (Galerie Giti Nourbakhsch, Berlin) Constructed in the gallery’s garden, Flavien’s house starts with a series of unsolvable problems—no center, too many corridors, too narrow—and then allows other things to happily get in the way. There’s a basement, but it’s aboveground outside. There’s a front door, but it’s on the second floor. Is there a garage? Who forgot the kitchen? There’s

  • Top row, left to right: Robert Storr (photo: Dawoud Bey), Carroll Dunham, Helmut Federle (photo: Elfi Semotan), Tim Griffin, Jutta Koether (photo: Stefano Giovannini). Bottom row: Monique Prieto (photo: D. Ingres), Lane Relyea, Terry Winters (photo: Jen Nelson), Lisa Yuskavage, Jonathan Lasker (photo: Barbara Probst).


    As the 1970s gave way to the ’80s, the slogan “return to painting” was as often heard in the discussion around contemporary art as the counter-mantra, the “death of painting.” In the last issue of Artforum, a group comprising mostly critics and art historians opened our two-part examination of painting in the ’80s and beyond with a look back at the death-of-painting debate that raged at the beginning of the decade. For this month’s pendant discussion introduced by ROBERT STORR, we assembled a second panel, largely made up of painters and curators—and asked them to tell us where painting has