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Stanley Whitney: Syntax Is Everything

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Deven Golden reviews the recent exhibition Stanley Whitney: Other Colors I Forget at Team Gallery, New York.

Golden writes: " the work displays a beguiling simplicity. There are sixteen or twenty rectangles in each square painting and they are, more or less, evenly apportioned four down and four, or five, across – not by ruled measurement but an equally exact though ineffable idea of rightness. These are formal paintings, grids of quadrilaterals, but casual and unpretentious, like a conversation one might have about the checkered tablecloths at your favorite trattoria. The same sense of ease holds true for the paint application, and for a few moments one might get an impression that the brushwork is almost careless. This is, however, a manifestly false reading and it quickly transmutes into an awareness of acute fastidiousness… Whitney nonchalantly weaves together nearly invisible yet precise technique, lightly imposed yet persistent structure, and a simple yet sophisticated use of color."

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