Stanley Whitney has been deeply invested in chromatic experimentation throughout his career, but it was the experience of Italian art and architecture, both ancient and modern, that informed his unique understanding of the nuanced relationship between color and geometry. His highly dynamic abstract paintings unlock the grid, imbuing it with new and unexpected cadences of color, rhythm, and space. Deriving inspiration from sources as diverse as Sandro Botticelli and Piet Mondrian, free jazz and American quilt-making, Whitney composes in varying scales with vibrant blocks and bars that articulate a chromatic call-and-response within each canvas.
Created in response to the covid-19 pandemic, the Artist Spotlight series highlights individual artists, one week at a time, whose exhibitions have been affected by the health crisis. A single artwork by the artist is made available with pricing information for forty-eight hours only.
Artist Spotlight: Stanley Whitney features a key work from the artist’s upcoming first major exhibition with Gagosian, in Rome, where he lived and worked during the 1990s.
The Space Is in the Color: Stanley Whitney
Stanley Whitney reflects on the evolution of his work with Louise Neri, from his formative early days in New York to the pivotal period he spent living and working in Rome, arriving at the highly distinctive paintings for which he is now known. They explore the diverse and surprising influences of art and music on Whitney’s oeuvre, as well as his process and practice.
Stanley Whitney: Rhythm and Vision
While preparing his first exhibition with Gagosian, in Rome, Stanley Whitney speaks with Louise Neri in his New York studio about how he arrived at his unique and intuitive approach to color and space in painting, employing a dynamic fusion of preordained structure and improvisation.
Stanley Whitney: The Ruins
For American painter Stanley Whitney, Italy remains a central and enduring source of inspiration. Matthew Jeffrey Abrams, the author of a new monograph on the artist, reflects on the profound and far-reaching influence of Italian art and architecture on Whitney’s art.
Private Pages Made Public
Megan N. Liberty explores artists’ engagement with notebooks and diaries, thinking through the various meanings that arise when these private ledgers become public.
Artsy Spotlight Auction: Stanley Whitney
In Support of the Art for Justice Fund and Planned Parenthood of Greater New York
September 27–October 7, 2022
The Freedom We Fight For (2022), a new painting by Stanley Whitney, will be featured in a single-lot benefit auction hosted by Artsy, in partnership with Gagosian. All proceeds from the sale will support Art for Justice Fund and Planned Parenthood of Greater New York in their respective urgent fights for decarceration and criminal justice reform and reproductive rights in the United States. The artwork is viewable at Gagosian, Park & 75, New York, during the auction.
The eighty-inch-square oil-on-linen abstract painting underscores Whitney’s facility as a colorist. Pieced together from rectilinear fields of red, yellow, green, blue, orange, brown, black, and gray divided by horizontal bands of red, blue, and teal, its “stacked” composition, translucent layers of paint, and energetic brushwork effectively deconstruct the modernist grid. Whitney draws inspiration from Greek and Mediterranean ceramics and the juxtaposition of ancient and modern Roman architecture.
Stanley Whitney, The Freedom We Fight For, 2022 © Stanley Whitney
Gagosian is pleased to announce the representation of Stanley Whitney. 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.
Photo: Jeannette Montgomery Barron/Trunk Archive
Ruth R. Marder Center for Matisse Studies
The Baltimore Museum of Art has commissioned Stanley Whitney to create a set of three large-scale stained-glass windows, titled Dance with Me Henri, for the new Ruth R. Marder Center for Matisse Studies, an approximately 2,500-square-foot space on the first floor of the museum dedicated to the study of Henri Matisse, opening December 2021. Whitney has long been recognized for his vibrant explorations of color and light within the painterly structures of the grid and has often cited historic European painting—including the work of Matisse and, in particular, Matisse’s glass windows for the Chapelle du Rosaire de Vence in southern France—as a source of inspiration for his formal investigations. To create the panels, Whitney is working with Franz Mayer of Munich, one of the world’s oldest and most celebrated artist glass studios.
Stanley Whitney’s installation Dance with Me Henri (2021) at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Artwork © Stanley Whitney
Dance with Me Henri
Through April 23, 2023
Baltimore Museum of Art
This exhibition will highlight Stanley Whitney’s recently commissioned stained-glass windows in the Ruth R. Marder Center for Matisse Studies. Whitney has selected a group of works on paper by Henri Matisse, to be shown in dialogue with sketches for the windows and his own prints, unfolding the relationship between the two artists and their experiments with line and color.
Stanley Whitney, Sketch for Dance with Me Henri, 2021 © Stanley Whitney
Opening Spring 2024
Buffalo AKG Art Museum, New York
Conveying the breadth of Stanley Whitney’s practice from the early 1970s through today, this exhibition of artist’s paintings at the Buffalo AKG Art Museum, New York (formerly the Albright-Knox Art Gallery), also includes a robust installation of drawings, prints, and sketchbooks. The retrospective contextualizes Whitney’s practice in relation to his artistic community as well as his influences—from the history of art and architecture to quilting, textiles, and jazz.
Stanley Whitney, Endless Time, 2017, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York © Stanley Whitney. Photo: courtesy Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York
The Italian Paintings
April 23–November 27, 2022
Palazzo Tiepolo Passi, Venice
The Italian Paintings is a look at Stanley Whitney’s practice over the last three decades seen through an Italian lens. The title refers to a body of work that encompasses pivotal transitional paintings from the time Whitney spent in Rome in the early 1990s, through to the work created during subsequent summers in his studio in Parma. The presentation considers, for the first time, the important influence of Italian art and architecture on Whitney’s oeuvre. The exhibition is presented by the future Buffalo AKG Art Museum and is an official Collateral Event at the Biennale Arte 2022.
Installation view, Stanley Whitney: The Italian Paintings, Palazzo Tiepolo Passi, Venice, April 23–November 27, 2022. Artwork © Stanley Whitney
Stanley Whitney in
Sensory Poetics: Collecting Abstraction
July 8–October 16, 2022
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
Sensory Poetics: Collecting Abstraction brings together highlights from the museum’s growing collection of contemporary art. Acquired over the past ten years, and shown at the museum for the first time, this selection of artworks reflects developments in painting, sculpture, and video from the 1960s to today that manifest in a turn toward gesture as a response to the constraint of Minimalism. Evident in the exhibited works is an appeal to the human hand, whether through the tactility of materials or the gestural marks that comprise the compositions. Work by Stanley Whitney is included.
Stanley Whitney, Untitled, 1997, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York © Stanley Whitney. Photo: Allison Chipak