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Interviews: Stanley Whitney

The New York–based artist Stanley Whitney’s first solo museum exhibition in New York, “Dance the Orange,” at the Studio Museum in Harlem will feature recent work made between 2008 and 2015. Here, he unpacks the formal and structural ramifications of the colors in his paintings. The show opens July 16 and will run through October 25, 2015.

I always had the color. I don’t know where it came from. My influences are many, from Titian to Edvard Munch to textiles, and the color comes from all kinds of places. Sometimes I go for a walk and I am looking for a yellow but I can’t find it in the world so I go back to my studio with a specific hue in mind. For a long time, my difficulty was how to make color the subject because the way we were taught is that color supports content...

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