|STANLEY WHITNEY Nigerian Smile, 2012 oil on linen 72 x 72 inches|
The palette is vibrant and clear, and the loosely painted rectangles of color seem ready to sway in a light breeze. Thin horizontal bands gently anchor the color blocks without locking them in place. Although the compositions are orderly and reference the grid, there is a refreshing spontaneity to them.
|STANLEY WHITNEY Bodyheat, 2012 oil on linen 96 x 96 inches|
Whitney's transparent layering of the paint lends these paintings freshness and slow intensity. The colors are bright, and the relationships often hot, but it's best to take your time with them. The seven canvases on exhibit range in size from 48 to 96 inches square.
STANLEY WHITNEY: (from the interview on Bombsite, see link to the full interview below) "The only system I have really is top, middle, and bottom. Even if I wanted to make a red painting, I couldn’t do it. I have to let the color take me wherever it takes me. Sometimes I paint little paintings, not like studies, but just to keep working. And sometimes I go, Oh, I can turn this into a big painting. But then I can’t do it because I have to be totally open to wherever the painting takes me. The idea is that color cannot be controlled and that it has total freedom. One color can’t overpower another color, you know. It’s very democratic, very New York."
The work is on exhibit at Team Gallery, 83 Grand Street, through May 12.
|STANLEY WHITNEY Songbird, 2012 oil on linen 48 x 48 inches|
Click here for the complete David Reed interview with Stanley Whitney on Bombsite. It is a long interview and the discussion first turns to color, space, structure and density about half way through. Whitney also brings up connections to music, particularly jazz, and the work of Cezanne and Judd.
Click here to see some of Whitney's earlier work.