Emi Winter was born in Oaxaca, Mexico, in 1973 to American parents and has lived there for a good deal of her life. Of Oaxaca she said, “It is a very sensual place. Your senses are always stimulated by colors, smells, the weather, the countryside…” Winter attended Oberlin College and lived in New York and Los Angeles before returning to Mexico in 2009 where she received the country’s most prestigious art prize at the XV Bienal de Pintura Rufino Tamayo, in 2011.
Winter has also spent a significant amount of time in Marfa, Texas, where she first went in 2001 as an artist in residence at the Chinati Foundation. It was there that she experimented with color and took inspiration from the fluorescent light installations of Dan Flavin and the reflections seen in the stainless steel boxes of Donald Judd. It was during this time in Marfa that Winter collaborated with master printmaker Robert Arber. Together they made prints with what printmakers call a “rainbow roll,” seamlessly blending colors together on a large roller to create work that seems airbrushed or digitally made. Of this Arber said, “The process Emi Winter and I used is not a machine based process, rather human based. Each color is mixed with a spatula on a table top, subtle color nuances of hue, value and saturation are seen first hand with no electronic translations.” Named “Seis Aves,” Spanish for “Six Birds,” the resulting series of prints encompassing a rainbow of bright, nearly neon, shades of blue, red, green, and pink.
Following this collaboration, Winter applied some of the same methods to her paintings, resulting in a series of work represented in the Lannan Collection. Like brightly lit serapes, the colors and horizontal lines on the paintings harken to the cultural and natural world of the Southwest U.S. and Mexico. These meticulously rendered paintings, done by hand with a brayer rather than a brush, emit an energy and vibrancy akin to a rainbow after a desert rainstorm.
Emi Winter’s work has been included in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout Mexico and the United States. In 2015, Winter will receive her MFA in painting from the Milton Avery Graduate School for the Arts at Bard College, New York.