Well-known for the Carmel gallery that carries his name, Chris Winfield has exhibited works by leading regional and national artists for nearly 30 years. Little known to most is the fact that Winfield also has quietly produced highly original paintings. Trained as an artist at Washington University in St. Louis, he needed to channel his passion for art into a means of support for his growing family. He did so by operating a gallery. Interacting with other artists, he says, "fills me with creative energy and has kept my love of the visual language alive and well."
By adhering to a carefully structured schedule, Winfield also continues to work on his own paintings. Several local collectors know of his work and fine examples are in private collections as well at the National Steinbeck Center, the Monterey Museum of Art, and the Crocker Museum in Sacramento. He has participated in numerous group exhibitions, but the Hartnell College exhibition, open now through March 18, is his first one-person show.
The 15 works on exhibit, made between 2006 and 2009, all use simple geometric shapes and forms as their compositional basis. Layer upon layer of transparent color is built-up over a series of days or weeks. "I developed this method so I can work an hour or two each day at my home studio in Corral de Tierra, before I head to Carmel where I spend six days a week at the gallery." The results are surfaces of great luminosity and depth with a delicate balance between their geometric elements and the softened edges resulting from the freehand application of numerous thin layers.
Winfield notes far-reaching sources and inspirations for his work from the 5th and 6th century cave paintings of Ajanta, India, to such powerful voices of abstract expressionism as Mark Rothko and minimalist Ad Reinhardt. Winfield also acknowledges a deep artistic debt to his family, including his father, Rodney Winfield, a widely recognized artist working in silver, paint and stained glass; and his wife, Andrea Johnson, a painter of carefully rendered scenes based on observations of the natural world. Other well-respected artists in the family include his sisters, Nancy Kingsbury and Robin Winfield, his deceased brother, David Winfield, and his mother-in-law, Barbara Johnson, a long-time member of the Carmel Art Association.
A reception for the artist will take place on March 5th, which coincides with the popular First Friday event in Oldtown Salinas. The Gallery will be open from 5 to 7 p.m. The public is welcome at no charge.
The exhibition, located in the Visual Arts Facility on the Hartnell main campus, is free and open to the public. Entrance is from the 400 block of West Alisal Street. Admission is free. On-campus parking is only $1 (in quarters).
Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m.
For further information please contact Gary Smith, gallery director, at 755-6791.
Calendar Item: Art Exhibit: Chris Winfield: Subtle Measure, at the Hartnell College Gallery, 411 Central Ave., Salinas (entrance on the 400 block of W. Alisal St.); Jan. 25-March 18, 2010; Mon.-Thurs., 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. Artist reception is Friday, March 5, 5-7 p.m.