Gagosian now representing Stanley Whitney
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Gagosian now representing Stanley Whitney
Stanley Whitney, Nightwatch, 2012 Oil on linen, 72 x 72 in. 182.9 x 182.9 cm © Stanley Whitney. Photo: Gerhard Kassner Courtesy Gagosian.

LONDON.- Gagosian announced the representation of Stanley Whitney. Following the 2020 exhibition of his work at Gagosian Rome, the artist will have a solo exhibition with the gallery in London in 2023.

Renowned for the depth of his exploration into the expressive potentials of painted color and form, Whitney has been committed to abstraction since the mid-1970s. While living in Rome in the 1990s, he consolidated a process-based painterly approach which he has now sustained and developed over the course of three decades. Dividing square canvases into sequences of loosely defined rectangular blocks of saturated color that are demarcated by linear bands, Whitney progresses from the top of the canvas across and down, choosing each successive color in relation to those laid down previously. His visible brushwork establishes nuanced passages amid the boundaries of these rectangular planes. The resulting chromatic and spatial interactions define relationships between each shape and the composition as a whole. The strictures of the modernist grid are loosened in these paintings, their freehand geometries at one with their progression of vivid hues.

Whitney’s adherence to a predetermined compositional structure facilitates the lyrical spontaneity of his approach, introducing visual rhythms and chromatic harmonies that resonate with the improvisational energy and call-and-response of jazz. Indeed, experimental jazz is a constant accompaniment for him as he paints, and the artist notes his admiration for “the way that it’s a little offbeat, polyrhythmic; the way that things move. Nothing’s straight. Nothing’s regular. Everything’s a little crooked. And I think that’s really what comes out of the music. It comes out of the beat, it comes out of how people walk, the way people wear their hat, just a little off. I think about all of those kinds of things and want them in the painting.”

In 2021, Whitney’s stained-glass window commission was unveiled at the new Ruth R. Marder Center for Matisse Studies at the Baltimore Museum of Art. That commission, in dialogue with works on paper by Henri Matisse selected by Whitney and a selection of his own prints and sketches for the windows, will be the focus of the museum’s Stanley Whitney: Dance with Me Henri exhibition, opening November 20, 2022.

Stanley Whitney: The Italian Paintings is currently on view at the Palazzo Tiepolo Passi, Venice, through November 27, 2022.

In 2023, Gagosian will present an exhibition of Whitney’s work at its gallery in Grosvenor Hill, London. A major retrospective surveying his career will be organized in 2024 by the future Buffalo AKG Art Museum, New York (formerly the Albright-Knox Art Gallery).

Stanley Whitney was born in 1946 in Philadelphia. He lives and works in New York and Parma, Italy, and is professor emeritus of painting and drawing at the Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Temple University, Philadelphia. Collections include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Philadelphia Museum of Art; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; and National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. Dance the Orange, a retrospective of Whitney’s work, opened at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, in 2015; Whitney has also been the subject of solo exhibitions at institutions including A.A.M. Architettura Arte Moderna, Rome (2004), and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas (2017). In 2017 he participated in Documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel, Germany.

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