Prussian Blue, 2017
May Day, 2017
Stanley Whitney (born 1946, USA) has been exploring the formal possibilities of colour within ever-shifting grids of multi-hued blocks and all-over fields of gestural marks and passages since the mid-1970s. Whitney’s signature format revolves around his use of a loose grid, structured around abstract coloured blocks and lines, testing combinations, arrangements, density and transparency of colours to evoke a sense of rhythm and cadence.
There are strong connections to music in Whitney’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 colours, mimicking the musical pattern of the same name. Examples of jazz and African music are often cited by Whitney as sources for his polyrhythmic, near-synaesthetic paintings. An exhibition of drawings by Stanley Whitney is currently on view at Lisson Gallery in New York until 21 October.