Winslow Myers

Winslow Myers
Exhibitions

• 2008 Solo show, Paintings 2005-2008, Gallery 170, Damariscotta Mills,ME.
• 2008 Juried Group exhibition, "The Boat Show," Studio Place Arts, Barre, VT.
• 2007 Two person exhibition with Sam Thurston, Helen Day Art Center, Stowe, VT
• 2006 Juried Group Exhibition, Shelburne Farms, Shelburne, VT
• 2005 Exhibition of 9 Large Paintings, Gallery 170, Damariscotta, ME
• 2003 Solo Show, Portraits and Passages, Bancroft School
• 2002 Juried exhibition, Re:Semblance-Contemporary Portraiture, Arts Worcester Gallery
• 2002 New Work/Older Work, Arts Worcester Gallery, Quninsigamond College, Worcester, MA
• 2002 Group Shows, Greene Gallery, Guilford, CT.
• 2000 Paintings and drawings, 1966-2000, Round Top Center for the Arts, Damariscotta, ME
• 1999 Rice Gallery, Bancroft School, Worcester, MA
• 1990-1998 Faculty Shows, Rhode Island School of Design
• 1995 Juried Alumni Drawing Show, Boston University
• 1993 Rice Gallery, Bancroft School, Worcester, MA
• 1978--1990 Group Shows, Kennedy Galleries, 40 West 57th St., N.Y.C.
• 1984 'Urban Light and Geometry,' Holy Cross College, Worcester
• 1983 Cultural Assembly Invitational, Worcester
• 1978 'A Sense of Place,' Thorne Gallery, Keene St. College, Keene, NH
• 1977 The Worcester Open, Worcester Art Museum
• 1976 Solo Show, Brooks School Gallery, Andover, MA
• 1975 'Four Figurative Painters,' Art Museum, Fitchburg, MA
• 1975 Solo Show, Tyler Gallery, Marlboro College, Marlboro, VT
• 1973 'Five Painters,' Berkshire Art Museum, Pittsfield, MA
• 1971 'Three Object Painters,' Lamont Gallery, Exeter Academy
• 1971 MFA Thesis Exhibition, Queens College, Flushing, NY

Publications
• "Alumni Drawings," Boston University, 1995
• "Sixty American Paintings," catalog, Kennedy Galleries, April 1980
• "Four Figurative Painters," catalog, Fitchburg Art Museum, 1975
• "Three Object Painters," catalog, Lamont Gallery, April 1971

Reviews
• October 2002, Leon Nigrosh, Worcester Magazine,"Re-Semblance."
• June 27, 2002, Leon Nigrosh, Worcester Magazine, "New Work/Older Work"
• Sept 22, 2000, The Worcester Phoenix, "School Figures"
• August 30, 2000, Worcester Magazine, "Bancroft Celebrates 100 Years."
• July 6, 2000, Lincoln County Weekly, "Round Top Art Goes Indoors, Outdoors."
• November 15, 1984, Worcester Telegram, "Exhibit Zeros in on Urban Scene."
• July 1, 1977, Christian Science Monitor, "Competitive Show has a
'Round Dozen' High Points."

August 25, 2009

Myers' Work Creates a Whole From Contrasting Halves

Kay Liss

In his artist's statement, Winslow Myers evokes one of his seemingly favorite statements by the author of a work on the French abstract painter, Georges Braque: "The poetic image is born of the bringing together of two more or less distant realities, between which only the spirit grasps the relationship." Myers goes on to say that Braques' work, some of which embody this principle "literally" in that they are actually bisected into two contrasting images, helped inspire him to create a series of diptychs entitled "Passages," now on view at Gallery 170 in its new spacious venue in Damariscotta Mills. Myers, who lives in Vermont but is from Maine and is the son of Julia and the late Edward Myers of Walpole, works primarily in a very large format, most of his "Passages" series being nearly or over, five by five feet. The two halves of canvases play with a variety of contrasting elements: in views from close up and far way; in machinery and nature; interiors and exteriors; and in seasons. They are meticulously painted, another interesting contrast in that, though the works are large, upon closer inspection the viewer can often see a pointillist approach to applying the paint on an almost invisible grid system, creating the illusion of depth in a background. This technique is used to particularly impressive effect in "Passages XIV" of an old train trestle in a fall scene contrasted with an interior scene of a cozy couch, a window behind it depicting snow falling in the woods beyond. In such works, machinery, represented by the bridge, doesn t create a threatening image, imposing itself upon nature, but rather seems to blend into and become part of nature. This is evident in another wonderful work, "Passages VIII," in which an old iron train, though spouting black smoke, is sprinkled with a mossy green, making it almost meld into the green hillside background and, actually, making it a thing of strange beauty. On the other half is a snow packed trail between two pines. The colors, as in most of the paintings, are finely balanced in both halves, creating a connecting harmony. The most important connecting element in these diptyches, notwithstanding all their contrasts, is the theme of "Passages," they each depict passages of some kind, whether it's a passage by train or the implied skiing down a snowy mountain pass, the passage of the eye through a window or traveling by plane or boat. The latter type of passage is majestically represented in "Passages IX" of a close-up of the front of a sailboat, its jib tilting starboard in the wind and the bottom of its mainsail hanging steady. Ahead is a spit of Maine coast with its tall pines and rocky ledge. On the other side of the canvas is a distant snowy ski slope. Myers also has displayed some smaller studies to the larger works. In most of them, it's obvious that such close-up scenes of large objects, such as bridges or train trestles, work much better in a large format. There are a few, however, that belie this rule. One is "Plane Study," 16 by 16 inches, of a tip of an airplane wing as seen from a window looking out and the mountains below, all in gray tones with a bit of white. For some reason, it simply works as a small piece, though its larger relative is not part of this show to compare. The artist's careful preparation for embarking on a large work is evident as well in skillfully drawn pencil sketches. The paintings, all in acrylic, have the capacity to make one linger in looking, as a gallery visitor commented. There's so much to see and think about, though perhaps not in a "hidden" symbolic way; they are complicated, surely, yet not in a psychological sense. They indeed create a poetic whole from "the bringing together of distant realities," grasped best by the spirit and the delighted eye. Myers, recently retired from teaching in Massachusetts and formerly at the Rhode Island School of Design, has previously shown in this area, at Gallery 170 and the former Round Top Center for the Arts. His work has been shown extensively in Vermont and Massachusetts beginning in the early 1970s. The show will be up until Aug. 10 and gallery hours are Thurs. to Sun. 10-5 p.m. For directions or more information, call 888-777-1077 or visit the website at www.gallery170.com.

NEW WORK/OLDER WORK

(Review by Leon Nigrosh, Worcester Magazine, June 27, 2002)

Born and raised Down Maine, Winslow Myers reflects his upbringing. He is reserved and self-effacing, but he has a great deal of inner strength. He just received an award for 30 years of teaching at the Bancroft School, where he is chair of the visual arts department.

Coincidentally, his current exhibition of 19 paintings at the ARTSWorcester Gallery at Quinsigamond Community College is a retrospective of the same 30 years of his personal artistry. And much like the artist, the paintings are quiet, modest and unpretentious.

Many of these paintings fall into certain categories with themes that reoccur over the years. One of his earliest works in the show, the 1973 "Marine 3," is a close-up study in furled sails, with the treatment of the fabric carried out in much the same manner as earlier artists handled classic experiments in clothing drapery. Four other canvases continue to explore this motif, each with different results, colorations and attitude: "July Squall" from 2000 is painted in monochromatic greens with foaming chop on the waters, showing the sails wrapped up for safety. Completed last year, "Arrival" depicts a brighter day with sails tied because of the immanent landing. The majority of the canvases on exhibit are nearly five- feet square. They are, for the most part, painted in thin layers, which allow the texture of the linen to lend pebbly appearance to the works.

As with many artists, Myers spends a lot of time in his studio, and derives inspiration from this experience. The early "Interior with Drive-in Screen" is a look through his green window frame toward a view of a large pale blue rectangle. This spare composition is intensified by tiny green diamond-patterned wallpaper that frames the window frame, while the top of a brown radiator skirts across the bottom of the canvas. The character of his spaces is always changing depending on the time of day or season of the year. "Garret Room" is so darkly painted that we almost miss the hanging smock. But his latest studio painting, "The Floodlight," is bright and cheerful, even though it is set in winter, as the snow-covered trees outside attest. The painting, with a large, old lamp reflector to one side, shows a glass bowl with large flowers centered in the window with an easel alongside holding a painting of a still life, unfinished.
Myers is also interested in trains, or at least in parts of trains. Several paintings in the show feature railroad imagery, such as the 1981 "Freights in Afternoon Sunlight," where we see the tops of boxcars as they pass by a jumble of houses in the distance. These brightly colored, blocky buildings are reminiscent of Edward Hopper's (1882-1967) flat-surfaced renditions of ordinary American architecture. By placing the vantage point from above in his recent "Trestle with Coupler," Myers creates a layered look through the yellowing leaves to a rusty train coupler, then beyond that through the tracks and down to the rushing river below.

Virtually all of the works on display appear to be simple, straightforward depictions of some particular place, but they are actually all composites of different spaces and elements, often combining natural, organic components with man-made architectural objects. In Myers's 2001 painting, "Construction with Freight," there is an array of empty boxcars, a concrete highway overpass, steel fencing, and mounds of dirt making up strong horizontals that are bisected with with several bare trees to create a single space. This painting, like most of the others, has a frame-wiåthin-a-frame that draws our attention to the major elements within the composition. Those paintings framed with windows are obvious, but here gray trees act to bring attention to the ghostly open rail cars, producing an almost abstract appearance.
The only painting that does not seem to fit this style is Myers's self-portrait. No frame-within-a-frame or composite assemblages of organic and inorganic objects-just himself. Luminous, built up shades of green and orange, but just him, looking out at us, at once real, and yet not real, a modest representation of a modest man.

Leon Nigrosh may be reached at editorial@worcestermag.com.