Paintings by Roger Winter
October 30, 2023 – January 28, 2024
Jazz started in New Orleans, a fusion of Blues and European marching band music. Jelly Roll Morton overstated that he invented jazz, and even named the date. But he was one of the early greats of the genre. That was in the early years of the 20th Century. By the 1950s, jazz was often called America’s classical music.
1952 to 1956 were my art student days at the University of Texas in Austin, and it was then that I learned about and collected records by the eight musicians I include in this exhibition. So, this is a personal choice. I first heard Bunny Berigan’s voice and trumpet from a jukebox recording of “I Can’t Get Started” in an Oklahoma tavern. Django Reinhardt, the Gypsy jazz guitarist, was called “untouchable, like God,” by a character in James Jones’ novel From Here to Eternity.
My New York agent commented that she liked my work that combined painting with collage imagery. Lauren Flick, Master Apartment resident, suggested, after seeing the Bunny Berigan collage, that I make more collages about jazz musicians. This exhibition is the result. The paintings are on museum board rather than canvas, because getting up off the floor after joining stretchers and stretching canvas is, at my age, a bit treacherous.
Roger Winter is an American artist, teacher, and writer.
Early Life and Education
He was born August 17, 1934, in Denison, Texas, the youngest of eight children. Winter was the first in his large original family to attend college. In 1952, he left Denison to study art at the University of Texas in Austin. After earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts and serving two years in the U.S. Army, he moved to Iowa City, Iowa, to earn an MFA in painting from the University of Iowa. He then applied for and received a Max Beckmann Memorial Scholarship for study at the Brooklyn Museum School in New York.
As a painter, Winter has explored many approaches to balancing illusion and abstraction in his work. Winter’s recent work shows the influence of his daily experience of architecture and ongoing construction in New York. His time spent in the minimal landscapes of New Mexico and Iceland has simplified his painted edges and divisions of canvas space. Winter’s painterly brush work and his belief in the importance of luminosity appear to be surviving elements from the past.
Winter taught painting and drawing for 10 years at the now defunct art school of the Dallas Museum of Fine Art. While living in Dallas, he also taught from 1963 to 1989 at Southern Methodist University’s (SMU’s) Meadows School of The Arts.
Winter currently shows his work at Gerald Peters Contemporary in Santa Fe, New Mexico and Kirk Hopper’s Gallery of Fine Art in Dallas, Texas.
Winter is married to children’s book author and illustrator, Jeanette (Ragner) Winter. They currently live and maintain studios in New York City. Their two sons, Jonah Winter and Max Winter, are both professional writers.