Stanley Whitney / SunRa / 2006 / oil on linen / 40 x 40 in.(cm. 102 x 102) / © Stanley Whitney. Courtesy of Stanley Whitney and Esso Gallery
Thanks to Tyler Green at Modern Art Notes for directing me to Stanley Whitney’s work. Having been inspired by the Color Charts exhibition at MoMA, I’ve been in the studio experimenting with the color exercises of Joseph Albers so I was quite struck with Whitney’s paintings and his use of colors.
John Yau in the Brooklyn Rail has a good review of an exhibition of Whitney’s paintings back in 2006. While he focuses mostly on composition and the rhythmatic effect of the juxtaposition of colors, I am curious to see the surface and how the colors are applied. Are the colors opaque, transparent, layered, mixed, pure, etc. Also, with the Albers exercises, I have been studying the light quality of colors and how the character of the color and the light of the color is changed by juxtapositions. Color is light and color is relative. As Hans Hofmann states, “Color in itself is light. In nature, light creates the color; in the picture, color creates light. Every color shade emanates a very characteristic light–no substitute is possible.” I am interested to see character of the light in Whitney’s paintings. How the colors interact, how each color is changed by its neighbors, and finally how the fit together as a whole the color effect of the whole piece.
Tags: Esso, hans hofmann, john yau, oil painting, bill jensen, light quality
Excerpt from John Yau’s review,
Whitney works out of a tradition that includes Mondrian, Jackson Pollock, and Alma Thomas. He is a fiercely independent painter who makes no attempt to charm or impress the viewer, and in that regard is the peer of Bill Jensen and Harriet Korman, self-determined abstract artists who have never been swayed by fashion.[Read more...]