JOHN WINSHIP (American b.1951 -)
“My paintings are based on old snapshots. Over time, I’ve grappled with most of the subjects that a painter with a bent for description will take on: landscapes, still lifes, portraits. But I feel that I elicit an emotional dimension from the snapshots that I don’t attain from other subjects.
My paintings have been described as “deconstructed nostalgia”. I think that when we contemplate the moments of happiness or solemnity recorded in snapshots we have an emotionally complicated awareness of how irrevocably distant and how fragile those moments are: that complicated awareness is what I’m trying to paint; I’m trying to capture the deeper psychological currents behind the innocent surface images of the photographs.
The atmosphere in my paintings is thick, the tonality dark, the edges and contours not always sharply defined, the faces often blurred or in shadow. These effects arise out of specific techniques, but are also attempts to break down the specificity of the photograph’s subject matter and allow the viewer to project more freely into the painting. The layers and veils of the painted surfaces are the equivalent of the distance between the viewer and the subjects of the old photographs.”
John Winship taught painting at Gettysburg College for over 20 years. He has had over thirty solo shows in New York, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and other galleries and museums throughout the northeast. His paintings have been featured and reviewed in such national publications as "Art in America", "Artnews", "The Artist's Magazine", "Harper's", and National Public Radio's "All Things Considered", as well as on numerous book covers.
“John Winship is a painter of dark and evocative scenes; dreamlike, mysterious pictures of people who seem to be from another time.”
—Linda Wertheimer, NPR, “All Things Considered
The work is easy to relate to, even if Winship’s chosen focus of the 1930’s may seem temporally distant. There is an enveloping quiet beauty about the work that pulls you to it; and an almost uncanny familiarity that seems to endure. However, the work is far less straightforward and obvious than it appears. The level of complexity depends on the viewer's willingness to ask questions.
2016 Carver Hill Gallery, Rockland, Maine
2010 • Endicott College Center for the Arts; Beverly, Massachusetts
2010, 2005 • Majestic Performing Arts Center; Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
2008 • F.A.N. Gallery; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2000, 1998, 1996, 1995, 1993, 1992 • Katharina Rich Perlow Gallery; New York, New York
1997, 1992, 1981 • Arts Exclusive Gallery; Simsbury, Connecticut
1996 • O’Farrell Gallery; Brunswick, Maine
1989, 1987 • Capricorn Gallery; Bethesda, Maryland
1988, 1982 • Gettysburg College; Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
2003, 1987, 1983 • Gallery 30; Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
1985 • Western Maryland College; Westminster, Maryland
1984 • College of Wooster; Wooster, Ohio • Gallery Doshi; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
1983 • Source Theater Gallery; Washington, D.C. • Noel Butcher Gallery; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1982 • Pratt Gallery; Amherst, Massachusetts
1980 • Washington County Museum of Fine Arts; Hagerstown, Maryland
1980, 1977 • Venable-Neslage Galleries; Washington, D.C.
1978 • Cora Miller Gallery, York College; York, Pennsylvania
1976 • Pennsylvania State University; State College, Pennsylvania
1975 • Shippensburg State College; Shippensburg, Pennsylvania
Articles, Reviews, Publications
The Georgia Review, Summer 2013 (Cover & 8 Reproductions)
The Gettysburg Review, Winter 2018