June 1 through September 29, 2024

Fowler Gallery

Stanley Whitney (American, b. 1946), Untitled, 2016, soft ground etching and spit bite aquatint. Allentown Art Museum: purchase, gift of Paul K. Kania, 2022. (2022.8.1.8)

Known for his exuberantly colored paintings, Stanley Whitney returns in this suite of black-and-white prints to the primacy of drawing in his work. Characterized by improvisational mark making, Whitney’s compositions contrast lyrically drawn and brushed lines against a structure of horizontal registers. While these freehand grids recall the blocks of Roman and Egyptian ruins that influenced the artist’s explorations of abstract space and density, their not-quite-geometric forms are filled with linear life.

Whitney notes that, having grown up in a Black community in Philadelphia in the 1950s, “music was everything.” He credits jazz as a key influence on his abstract compositions. In this series of prints—in tones of gray from ink black to paper white—Whitney seems to invite us to hold in our mind’s eye a multiplicity of absent but evoked colors and sounds.

Image at top: Stanley Whitney (American, b. 1946), Untitled (detail), 2016, sugar lift aquatint and open bite. Allentown Art Museum: purchase, gift of Paul K. Kania, 2022. (2022.8.1.1)

 

Structure and Lyric: Prints by Stanley Whitney is supported through the generosity of the Bernard and Audrey Berman Foundation and the Leon C. and June W. Holt Endowment.