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Stanley Whitney

Born 1946, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Stanley Whitney studied at the Kansas City Art Institute before moving to New York City in 1968. He later graduated with an MFA from the Yale School of Art.

Whitney’s gestural, abstract paintings and works on paper explore the linear structure and expressive possibilities of a grid. A checkerboard pattern made from horizontal and vertical lines to form squares, the grid is an age-old compositional device used by artists to structure or map an image. In Whitney’s hands, the grid is imbued with new and unexpected cadences of rhythm and space. Finding inspiration in the work of earlier, modern artists (Piet Mondrian, Agnes Martin, Sol LeWitt, et al) as well as American quilt-making and improvisational jazz, he has spent many years experimenting with the seemingly limitless potential of this single compositional method. In the work on view, Black and White Series I, Whitney freed-up the grid into loosely geometric compartments – rendered with uninhibited drawing and mark marking.

Whitney lives and works in Bridgehampton, New York, and Parma, Italy, and is currently Professor Emeritus of Painting and Drawing at Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Philadelphia. His works have been widely exhibited and collected by innumerable museums, among them The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, High Museum of Art, Atlanta and National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.