Stanley Whitney MFA ’72 at 2022 Venice Biennale

Stanley Whitney MFA ’72 is another Yale artists featured at the 2022 Venice Biennale. His exhibition, ​​the Italian Paintings, is organized by Buffalo AKG Art Museum and on display until November 27 2022. 

Co-curated by Cathleen Chaffee, Chief Curator, Buffalo AKG Art Museum, and Vincenzo de Bellis, Curator and Associate Director of Programs, Visual Arts, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, the exhibition marks the first time that Whitney will present works that have exclusively been created in Italy—from early works dating to the pivotal years he spent in Rome, to paintings made during subsequent summers spent in his studio near Parma throughout the last three decades.

Whitney was born in 1946 in Bryn Mawr, near Philadelphia, and grew up in a house filled with music. By the time he completed his MFA at Yale in 1972, Whitney had found his voice as a visual artist through a network of influences, from Donald Judd, Al Taylor, and Jack Whitten to Nina Simone, American quilts, Alma Thomas, and Piet Mondrian. He had come to see “endless possibilities” in the openness of abstraction. With his early acrylic paintings of 1971–72, Whitney worked to combine gesture and color with lessons learned by studying the Color Field paintings of Morris Louis. In the late 1970s, he moved away from acrylic paint and canvas to make an important series of black-and-white drawings on mylar followed by monumental oil paintings of animated circular forms that gesture toward the landscape tradition.

The 59th exhibition of the Venice Biennale opens April 23rd. For a full list of artists at the exhibition, visit here.