No to Prison Life
To arrive at at the distinct, abstract compositions for which he is renowned, Stanley Whitney applies solid-hued rectangles and stripes around an irregular grid—all while painting in freehand.
For Whitney, however, his colorful, geometric configurations need hardly be consigned to neutral territory. In the lead-up to World Day for International Justice on July 17th, the 74-year-old artist partnered with Lisson Gallery to showcase new drawings that expand on "No to Prison Life" as a series that had grown from a 2016 abstract painting to a public mural completed in 2019. The titular phrase is echoed in the designations of individual pieces included in the series—as if repeatedly voicing Whitney's succinctly-worded objection to the carceral state as a whole.
Accordingly, ten percent of the proceeds generated from selling these works will go to Agnes Gund's Art for Justice Fund, a nonprofit that directs resources toward artists and other advocates working to end mass incarceration while dismantling the systems that allowed it.
Stanley Whitney, Untitled (No to Prison Life), 2020. Crayon on paper, 14 x 11 inches. Framed: 18 7/8 x 15 5/8 x 1 1/2 inches.