KHFA exhibition archives

The Construction Site Paintings

Roger Winter
December 4-January 2, 2021

Along with the exhibition Roger Winter: Stories from Memory, Kirk Hopper Fine Art is pleased to present a selection of works from the artist's recent "Construction Site" series. For years, Winter has aimed to condense his painting by reducing it to essentials. After experiencing Iceland's limitless horizontal planes and startlingly pure light, the artist was inspired to view the structures of Manhattan through an increasingly reductive lens.

Rendered in luminous tonalities, Winter's "Construction Site" paintings describe complex spaces by way of perspective grids and raking diagonals set in fully volumetric counterpoint to one another. The overlapping shapes, the harmonious and dissonant mix of colors and the deep shadows created by strong light emphasize the rich visual geometries of Manhattan, if not the very beat of the city.

See Through Construction Site, 2019, oil on linen, 64" x 78"

Like the 1930s Precisionist artists Charles Sheeler, George Ault, Niles Spencer and, especially, Ralston Crawford, who portrayed factories and mechanical structures using a sharp-edged, simplified and precise technique, Winter also focuses on architectural and industrial themes characterized by a carefully reasoned abstraction in which subjects are streamlined to their basic, geometric shapes. Whereas, the Precisionists pursued an art marked by a nonpainterly handling of color and images brought to a flatly defined finish, Winter's solid overlapping of shapes are lit from within. His abstract patchworks are at once in motion and meticulously puzzled together, seemingly both topographical and tapestry-like with the deliberate touch of every stroke.

As Winter knows, to live in a city as changeable as New York is to live in a place that is always on the cusp of disappearing or being replaced by some new version of itself. "In the past, I have painted New York City from several viewpoints—from the interaction of people and buildings and statues in Union Square to window displays and subway riders," says Winter. "But this time in life, I'm far more interested in the city's geometry. Whether in the heavy beams at a building site, the doors and windows in the cliff dwellings where we work, the steps leading down to a brownstone basement, or the horizontal planes of the sidewalks and rooftops, I live in a geometric world."

In The Construction Site Paintings at KHFA, Winter focuses on Manhattan's forgotten corners, mostly places and architectural underpinnings that could pass as inconsequential. All of the works pursue the challenge of analyzing the city forms as geometrized environments of illusory space, angular shapes and sharp silhouettes. His explorations of ordinary building zones that hide in plain sight trigger rushes of wonderment. Winter sets us teetering on the fulcrum between material and imaginary worlds.

Dinner on the Ground, 2020, collage and story

Also at KHFA

Roger Winter: Stories from Memory
December 4-January 2, 2021

Along with the exhibition Roger Winter: The Construction Site Paintings, Kirk Hopper Fine Art is pleased to present Stories from Memory, some 35 autobiographical narratives and collages created during the New York City lockdown in spring 2020.

More about this show »