GAIL WINBURY - PAINTING - online solo exhibition - June 18, 2021

Fotocredit: Photo courtesy of Hannah Frankel

GAIL WINBURY - PAINTING - online solo exhibition - June 18, 2021

Gail Winbury is a contemporary American painter. She exhibits in New York and Europe.

In her art, the artist addresses life, situations, memories, feelings, sensations, and sometimes early experiences. She works through these in series and uses painting as a visual language to make the unspeakable visible, palpable and debatable. Layers reflect or hide what has been experienced and lived.

Fascinated by Picasso and Matisse, she reacts to their liberation from representation. This is where the line becomes significant. In her art practice, she uses line as a distorting means to show what otherwise cannot be said. She is influenced by the brush work and palette of De Kooning. While her work is abstract there are in moments, hints of figuration.

A gifted colorist, Gail Winbury loves the color and the smell of paint. Before the pandemic, oil painting on canvas was the focus. For her, oil painting has something process-like, sensitive, physical. She enters into a kind of relationship with the canvas when she firmly and actively applies the paint to the flexibly stretched canvas. Her range of mark-making always creates visual interest in the work.

She needs up to 2 years for her series. Many of them have a theme. Other groups of work begin with limitations that the artist imposes, such as working on a certain size canvases and using blues. The meaning of the paintings,  however, emerges in the course of  making the work. In late 2018-2020, before the pandemic, she created a series of images about particular childhood memories. To work so directly autobiographical, and from very specific visual memories, was very exciting and unique challenge.  The pandemic prevented her from continuing the series beyond the 12-14 art works completed by January 2020.

During the pandemic, she began to work significantly smaller and instead of canvas, she now used oil, graphite and pigment sticks on paper. The scale of her work shifted from, for example 48” x 60”, to at most 30” x 22”.  She cannot yet assess her work which was created during this time, but produced a lot, a total of 30 to 40 pictures.

Back in the studio and after the pandemic, she's still working on paper as well as canvas. However, these works are large. They are no longer a pandemic paintings, but something completely different. She finds herself working more slowly  and more minimal now, having no expectations of what the pieces will be. Her mind is quieter and the knowledge of and noise from the world is excluded as she develops this new body of work. Leaving the stress and stimulation of the external world is sometimes a good thing to allow for change.

Gail Winbury is fascinated and moved when someone sees one of her paintings and feels and experiences the emotional intent or meaning of the piece. It is also fascinating, literally, that she can create something out of nothing with painting. She loves getting lost in the process of painting and then asking herself the question: “How did I do it? Who did that?"

Text by Andreas Schlichtner, based on an interview on April 24, 2021