At Gagosian Rome an exhibition of new paintings by Stanley Whitney

Gagosian's Rome office opens an exhibition of new paintings by Stanley Whitney, an American painter long active in Italy, on Sept. 10.

Gagosian ’s Rome office opens on Sept. 10 an exhibition of works by U.S. painter Stanley Whitney (Philadelphia, 1946), scheduled through Oct. 17: this is his first show with Gagosian as well as his first significant exhibition in Rome, the city where Whitney lived for five years in the 1990s. The exhibition features works made in New York and Bertacca in Italy.

Whitney proposes an abstract language that interrupts the linear structure of the grid, filling it with new and unexpected cadences of color, rhythm, and space.The artist draws inspiration from sources as diverse as the works of Piet Mondrian, free jazz, and American quilts, composing his canvases with blocks and bars in a “bump and grind” color play. Whitney spent many years experimenting with the potential of a single compositional technique, freely dividing square canvases into multiple registers. Subtly applied oil retains its lively touch while allowing a degree of transparency and tension at the edges of each of the brilliant squares. Using canvases of various sizes, the artist explores the varying effects of his freehand-drawn geometries, both large-scale and in more intimate formats, as he skillfully applies successive blocks of paint responding to the call of each color.

A formative trip to Italy in 1992 (Whitney later lived in our country for a long time) led him to change his approach, transforming his compositions from untied sets of amorphous forms to the more solid, overlapping arrangements that characterize his mature style. It was Roman art and architecture (including the facades of the Colosseum and Palazzo Farnese and the shelves of funerary urns on display at the National Etruscan Museum) that inspired Whitney’s relationship between color and geometry. Italy, moreover, remains a fundamental and enduring source of inspiration for Whitney, who spends his summers painting in a studio near Parma. Working in Italy, Whitney adapts his palette to the history around him, allowing muted hues (beiges, browns, and Pompeian reds) to take an important role in his rich and varied compositions.

Stanley Whitney lives and works between New York and Parma, Italy. His work is included in the following collections, among others: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Philadelphia Museum of Art; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO; and National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. Solo exhibitions include Recent Works, A.A.M. Architettura Arte Moderna, Rome (2004); Omi International Arts Center, Ghent, NY (2012); Dance the Orange, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2015); and FOCUS, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, TX (2017). Whitney participated in Documenta 14 (Kassel, Germany; and Athens) in 2017.

For information you can visit the Gagosian website.

Pictured: Stanley Whitney, That’s Rome (2019; oil on linen, 243.8 x 243.8 cm) © Stanley Whitney

At Gagosian Rome an exhibition of new paintings by Stanley Whitney
At Gagosian Rome an exhibition of new paintings by Stanley Whitney

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