Born in 1969, Boston, USA.
Lives and works in New-York, USA.
MFA Painting, Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, Bard College, Annandale, USA
BA Hampshire College, Amherst, USA
Wallace Whitney’s work is marked by activated gestures, a considered palette and an ambitious use of scale to make paintings seemingly breathe. Building complex formal rhythms with dripped and spattered paint, Whitney’s canvases blend thick, organic brushstrokes with layered fields of color to assemble compositions that revel in the space between accident and intention. His practice exploits the generative possibilities of experimentation, incorporating unorthodox compositional strategies and unexpected methods of applying paint, in order to make motley grounds of tangled shapes that coalesce into precarious equilibrium.
Variously loose, dense, and deeply layered, Whitney’s paintings indulge in the process and materiality of painting. Whitney is known to work on many large canvases at the same time, in a way that leaves each of his paintings open to the influence of neighboring works. Such a process can account for certain compositional similarities between canvases produced at similar times, but stops short of providing a structural framework for developing compositions. Instead, Whitney broadens each painting along the lines of its own, proprietary logic, as he responds to the incremental changes of the work’s internal structure. Taken together, Whitney’s paintings synthesize diverse elements of felt daily life and various abstract painting languages to create complex compositions that embodies his own vision.
A native of Massachusetts, Wallace Whitney lives and works in the Bronx district of New York.
In his studio, the artist surrounds himself with pictures painted together but not in unison. Thus, while the paintings maintain a dialogue, they are neither developed in series nor completed jointly. Wallace Whitney thus skirts the trials of the white canvas, and the paintings in progress provide stimuli for new pictorial research. The dialogue can continue.
His abstract and expressionist paintings are very dense. In each painting, a network of interventions forms a complex field in which dramatic pictorial events unfold. The skimming of planes, lines and touches reveal a process of elaboration by stratification. The applications of oil paints, and of spray paint initially, overlap and echo each other. Each brush stroke is an objection made to the previous one to maintain a pictorial tension and to add paint to the scene. But these repeated gestures are not impulsive: between each intervention, the artist observes, questions, allows to dry. Thus, the pictorial reactions are delayed and thought out; they work together, respond to each other and resist dynamically, without empathy. Wallace Whitney does not produce preparatory studies, but beyond the absence of premeditation, it is the periods of meditated thinking that lead to dazzling pictorial decisions. The gestures expressed by the brushes of different sizes reflect these instant actions. It is no blind automatism, nor gestural posturing that controls this highly orchestrated painting because the artist composes with the singularity of the format, like a territory to be invaded (Territory is the title of a painting of 2000). The artist aspires synchronously to embrace the extent of the surface of each canvas: "You can't just fix a little corner, you have to fix the whole painting", he says.
At first glance chaotic, the paintings are organized over a long period. According to Wallace Whitney, his paintings are never actually completed. The broad or narrow brushstrokes are also evident in flexible calligraphic lines with variations of intensity. The rhythmic, almost graphic punctuations organically ride over the vertical and horizontal lines of composition but the lattice-structure never fails to be disturbed by the chaotic deviations. If he claims to be influenced by the leading exponents of American abstract expressionism, Franz Kline and Willem de Kooning, the thick or translucent biomorphic tangles repeated on the canvas, might also evoke the lyrical abstraction of Camille Bryen and the Informal art of 1950s Europe.
Sophisticated, Wallace Whitney's colourful palette is playful and particularly bright. Subtle chromatic complementarities are arranged and provoke bold dissonances. His skilfully composed improvisations betray a slight mannerism. Far from obvious, Wallace Whitney's pictures are not suited to being seen synoptically because their dense and winding lattice deviates and directs the observer's gaze.
Free from any referential posturing, the artist paints "after" but not demonstratively "in the manner of". Freely, his investigations in painting suggest neither a declaration of thought nor an inner dictation. After painting landscapes on the motive, Wallace Whitney empirically depicts the setting of his environment: urban energy, the digital stream, elements, light, sensations...Air, 2009, Watery Web, 2011, Early hours, 2012, Dirty Weather, 2012, Flashlight, 2012, Alphabet City, 2013, Green Honey, 2014, Open source, 2014, Sweet grass, 2014, Green spark, 2014, Pond, 2014, Summer sand, 2015…
Solo shows at Ceysson Gallery
Wallace Whitney, Luxembourg
March 10 - April 23, 2011
Wallace Whitney, Paris
September 08 - October 13, 2012
Wallace Whitney, Geneva
May 22 - September 02, 2014
Wallace Whitney, Saint-Étienne
February 26 - May 14, 2016
Wallace Whitney, New York
March 06 - April 21, 2018Group shows at Ceysson Gallery
La Ligne Passée, Luxembourg
June 30 - September 16, 2012
FEED THE METER, Wandhaff
September 26, 2015 - January 30, 2016
Special Guest New York, Offsite
September 08 - September 28, 2015
Feed the Meter, Wandhaff
September 23 - December 16, 2017
Combustible Cocktail, Offsite
July 08 - July 30, 2017
10 YEARS in Luxembourg, Wandhaff
June 02 - August 04, 2018Solo shows
Wallace Whitney: Patience Gift
, Soloway, New York, USA
, Ceysson & Bénétière, New York, USA
, Galerie Bernard Ceysson, Saint Étienne, France
, Galerie Bernard Ceysson, Geneva, Switzerland
, American Contemporary, New York, USA
The Feeling That Selects You
, Galerie Bernard Ceysson, Paris, France
The Armory Show, Horton Gallery, New York, USA
, Horton Gallery, New York, USA
, Rowland Contemporary, Chicago, USA
Rock House Paintings
, David Krut Projects, New York, USA
, with Sam Martineau, David Krut Projects, New York, USA
, CANADA, New York, USA
, Horton Gallery, Dallas, USA
Summer of Love
, Arts+Leisure, New York, USA
, Night Gallery, California, USA
10 Years in Luxembourg
, Ceysson & Bénétière, Wandhaff, Luxembourg
The First Ever & Only East Hampton Biennial
, organisé par Woobie Bogus et Adrianne Rubinstein, The Barn, East Hampton, New York, USA
, Ceysson & Bénétière (hors les murs), Sag Harbor, New York, USA
Make Painting Great Again
, CANADA, New York, USA
Feed the Meter,
curated by Wallace Whitney, Galerie Bernard Ceysson, Luxembourg
, (Denis Castellas, Franck Chalendard, Joe Fyfe, Sadie Laska, Lauren Luloff, Alexander Nolan, Wallace Whitney) curated by Bernard Ceysson, Zürcher Gallery, New York, USA
La Ligne Passée
, Galerie Bernard Ceysson, Luxembourg
Dirty Messy Painting
, Roos Arts, Rosendale, États-Unis
Monkey Wrench, Horton Gallery, New York, USA
, curated by James Hyde, Kathleen Cullen Fine Arts, New York, USA
, Ewing Gallery of Art, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA
, March Gallery, New York, USA
, Galeria Comercial, San Juan, Puerto Rico
, Counter Gallery, London, United Kingdom
History Lesson Part Three, passerby space
, curated by Monica Moran, Gavin Brown's Enterprise, New York, USA
, curated by Cody Ryman, Sundaram Tagore Gallery, New York, USA
The Small Painting Show, Project Series: The General Store
, The Ulrich Museum, Kansas City, USA
New York's Finest
, curated by Wallace and Brendan Cass, CANADA, New York, USA
Hunch and Flail
, curated by Amy Sillman, Artists Space, New York, USA
Protest for Triple Candie
, Triple Candie, New York, USA
, Kunsthall Frederianum, Kassel, Germany
, New York Arts Gallery, New York, USA
Fat Slice, It Can Change
, San Francisco, USA
Blobs and Wiggles, Dots and Crustilations
, The Work Space, New York, USA
, CANADA, 359 Broadway, New York, USA
New Work From New York
, Bacca Gallery, Berkeley, USA
, Bacca Gallery, Berkeley, USA
, Bard College Exhibition Center, Red Hook, USA
Fitch, James, "Wallace Whitney Artist Talk March 11th 1pm Studio 2 Artbarn." March 11, 2015.
"Why Sean Horton loves NADA Miami Beach." Artsy Editorial, November 29, 2013.
Sutton, Benjamin. "Driving Dynamism: Canada cofounders join forces." Artinfo, May 2013
Russeth, Andrew. "To the Piers! Previewing the 2012 Armory Show". GalleristNY, March 7, 2012.
Ferlito, Ash, "Interviez. Wallace Whitney : Optimistic Opposition." The Nicola Midnight St. Claire, June 10, 2011.
Maine, Stephen. "The Big (Juicy) Apple: Three Current Shows of Abstract Painterliness." Artcritical, November 22, 2010.
Asfour, Nana. " Wallace Whitney, ' Dream Feed.' " Timeout New York, November 21, 2010.
"Critics' Picks: Painting." Time Out New York, October 10, 2010.
Yood, James. "Wallace Whitney," Artforum, November 2008.
Coomer, Martin. "CANADA." TimeOut London, April 11, 2006.
Moyer, Carrie. "Not by Design: Hunch and Flail." Gay City News, July 21, 2005.
Smith, Roberta. "New York's Finest," The New York Times, May 22, 2005.
Cotter, Holland. "Lower East Side, Where Witty Meets Gritty." The New York Times, November 15, 2002.
Pozzi, Lucio. "Malati di Spiegazionite." Il Giornale Dell Arte, September 2001.
"Short List." The New Yorker, July 9, 2001 and July 21, 2001.
Monaural, with poems by Joel Felix, Answer Tag Press. 2007
Feed the Meter Vol. 2
December 12, 2017