Stanley Whitney - New Now New York Wednesday, March 3, 2021 | Phillips

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  • "The color makes the structure. I wanted a system that allowed me to lay color down when I felt like it—I wanted nothing to get in my way. When I start these paintings, I have no idea what it’s going to be. I don’t start with a sketch or an idea. I start by laying as much color down as I possibly can. Once I’ve laid it all out and see what I have, then I start to mentally engage and figure out what I think is working and what I don’t."
    —Stanley Whitney

    • Provenance

      Lisson Gallery, New York
      Acquired from the above by the present owner

    • Artist Biography

      Stanley Whitney

      American • 1946

      Inspired by Renaissance painting, Minimalist sculpture and jazz music, Stanley Whitney’s oeuvre has become central to the current discourse of abstract painting in the contemporary era. Following recent solo exhibitions at the Modern Art Museum, Fort Worth and the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, the 72-year-old artist has only just received the critical acclaim he deserves. After moving to New York from Philadelphia at the age of 22, Whitney aligned himself with the Color Field painters, often working in the shadows of his contemporaries including Frank Stella and Kenneth Noland. Throughout the decades that followed, however, the artist soon established himself as a key player in 20th century abstraction, traveling the world and gaining recognition not only in the studio, but also in the classroom, where he has taught Painting and Drawing at the Tyler School of Art for over 30 years. As such, Whitney’s influence extends to a generation of new artists exploring the formal tenants of painting today.

      As Lauren Haynes, curator of Whitney’s solo show at the Studio Museum in 2015, aptly wrote, “Whitney’s work interrogates the connections among colors, how they lead to and away from one another, what memories they are associated with…Whitney’s colors take on lives of their own. They evoke memory and nostalgia. This orange takes you back to your favorite childhood t-shirt; that blue reminds you of your grandmother’s kitchen. Whitney’s paintings remind us, on a universal scale, of the ability of color to trigger feelings and sensations.”

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Property of an Important New York Estate



signed "Stanley Whitney" on the reverse; inscribed and dated "1-2015-SMP" on the overlap
oil on canvas
12 x 12 in. (30.5 x 30.5 cm)
Painted in 2015.

Full Cataloguing

$20,000 - 30,000 

Sold for $60,480

Contact Specialist

Patrizia Koenig
Associate Specialist, Head of New Now Sale
20th Century & Contemporary Art

New Now

New York Auction 3 March 2021