In the Studio with Stanley Whitney, May 2016 | Video by Lisson Gallery

 

WROUGHT WITH IMPROVISATION and experimentation when it comes to color, Stanley Whitney‘s bold canvases are defined by an ordered approach to composition.

Following a spate of 2015 exhibitions, including “Dance the Orange,” a critically recognized solo show at the Studio Museum in Harlem, and his first-ever exhibition in Los Angeles, on view at Team (bungalow) gallery, Whitney’s work is being presented for the first time in London at Lisson Gallery, on the heels of a show mounted last fall at the gallery’s New York location.

“Radical Times,” the new London exhibition (May 20-July 2, 2016), presents a timely series of oil paintings and gouache on paper works Whitney made in recent months. The gallery notes the connections to music in the painter’s work, “from the performative ‘dance’ he enacts when working on each canvas, to the ‘call and response’ technique that governs his decisions over neighbouring colors.” Literature and global events, such as the migration crisis, have also fueled works in the exhibition.

AFTER MORE THAN 40 YEARS in Manhattan, the New York-based artist has moved to a new studio in Ridgewood, a Queens neighborhood that abuts Bushwick, Brooklyn. It’s a bigger space allowing him to paint on a larger scale and “get more space in the paintings,” something he has been thinking about a lot, he says.

In the video above he offers a tour of the 2,500 square foot studio, giving insight into how he works, revealing he has no theory about color, and admitting that when he completes a painting he is a little surprised at what it is and he is never sure about it—whether he likes it, or if it is good or bad.

“I don’t have a theory about color. …Whatever the color does is fine. I don’t want to have control over the color.
— Stanley Whitney

“I don’t have a theory about color. I don’t want to go on the signs of color. Some people ask me what the color means, or the color does this, the color does that. Whatever the color does is fine. I don’t want to have control over the color,” says Whitney.

“That’s why I can sort of have this kind of simple signature. You say, ‘This is a Stanley Whitney.’ Yet every one feels totally different. As long as they are strong individuals and they all feel totally different, that’s fine. Sort of like people. We are all the same, but totally different. We are all the same, but that 2 percent 3 percent difference is major. I like the paintains that way. Every painting is a strong individual. As long as I keep doing that, then I am okay.” CT

 

“STANLEY WHITNEY: Radical Times” is on view at Lisson Gallery, London (May 20-July 2m 2016).

 

BOOKSEHLF
Explore Stanley Whitney’s practice further with these volumes published to coincide with recent exhibitions: “Stanley Whitney” and “Stanley Whitney: Dance the Orange,” with contributions by Lauren Haynes, Thelma Golden, Robert Storr, and Lowery Stokes Sims.

 

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STANLEY WHITNEY, “Wandering and Wondering,” 2016 (oil on linen). | © Stanley Whitney. Courtesy of Lisson Gallery

 

Stanley Whitney: Radical Times; Installation view @ Lisson Gallery, 2016
Installation view of “STANLEY WHITNEY: ‘Radical Times.” | © Stanley Whitney; Courtesy of Lisson Gallery. Photography by Jack Hems

 

Stanley Whitney: Radical Times; Installation view @ Lisson Gallery, 2016
Installation view of “STANLEY WHITNEY: ‘Radical Times.” | © Stanley Whitney; Courtesy of Lisson Gallery. Photography by Jack Hems

 

Stanley Whitney: Radical Times; Installation view @ Lisson Gallery, 2016
Installation view of “STANLEY WHITNEY: ‘Radical Times.” | © Stanley Whitney; Courtesy of Lisson Gallery. Photography by Jack Hems

 

Stanley Whitney: Radical Times; Installation view @ Lisson Gallery, 2016
Installation view of “STANLEY WHITNEY: ‘Radical Times.” | © Stanley Whitney; Courtesy of Lisson Gallery. Photography by Jack Hems

 

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STANLEY WHITNEY, “Radical Times,” 2016 (oil on linen). | © Stanley Whitney. Courtesy of Lisson Gallery

 

Stanley Whitney: Radical Times; Installation view @ Lisson Gallery, 2016
Installation view of “STANLEY WHITNEY: ‘Radical Times.” | © Stanley Whitney; Courtesy of Lisson Gallery. Photography by Jack Hems

 

Stanley Whitney: Radical Times; Installation view @ Lisson Gallery, 2016
Installation view of “STANLEY WHITNEY: ‘Radical Times.” | © Stanley Whitney; Courtesy of Lisson Gallery. Photography by Jack Hems

 

Stanley Whitney: Radical Times; Installation view @ Lisson Gallery, 2016
Installation view of “STANLEY WHITNEY: ‘Radical Times.” | © Stanley Whitney; Courtesy of Lisson Gallery. Photography by Jack Hems