Sale: 540 / Evening Sale, June 09. 2023 in Munich Lot 4


Stanley Whitney
Stay Song #54, 2019.
Oil on canvas
€ 200,000 - 300,000

$ 220,000 - 330,000

Stay Song #54. 2019.
Oil on canvas.
Signed, dated, titled and inscribed with two direction arrows and the direction "TOP" on the reverse. 101.8 x 101.8 cm (40 x 40 in).

• Composition in particularly clear and expressive colors.
• In 2017, Whitney participated in documenta 14 in Kassel with five paintings from the series "Stay Song".
• Similar works by the artist are at, among others, the Metropolitan Museum and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York
• The renowned Gagosian Gallery signed the artist in 2022.
• Last year Whitney's works were shown in the exhibition "Stanley Whitney. The Italian Paintings", a collateral event of the 59th Biennale di Venezia.
• In 2024, the Buffalo AKG Art Museum in Buffalo, New York, will show a first grand retrospective

PROVENANCE: Lisson Gallery, London (with the gallery label on the reverse).
Lindqvist Contemporary, Stockholm (acquired from the above in 2019).
Private collection New York.

"I don't have a theory about color. I don't want to go into the signs of color. [..] Whatever the color does is fine, you know? I don't want to have control over the color. That's why I can sort of have this kind of simple signature you sell as a Stanley Whitney but yet every one [every painting] feels totally different. As long as they're strong individuals and they all feel totally different, that's fine. Sort of like people, you know? We all look the same, but we're totally different. We are all the same, but that 2 percent, 3 percent difference is major. So I look at the paintings that way, every painting is a strong individual."
Stanley Whitney in an interview with Lisson Gallery London, video by Erik Braund, released on on May 20, 2016.

Called up: June 9, 2023 - ca. 17.06 h +/- 20 min.

Stanley Whitney describes his travels to Egypt and Italy, where he visited Naples and Rome, in the early 1990s as key inspirational moments for his expressive works that are characterized by stacked and juxtaposed color fields, as they would fundamentally change the overall arrangement of his paintings, as well as his approach to structure, geometry, organization and composition. Whitney studied the buildings’ historic architecture, their construction of stacked blocks of stone and facades with closely spaced windows, such as that of Palazzo Farnese. In 2022, the artist's works were aptly exhibited at the Palazzo Tiepolo Passi in Venice (collateral event of 59th Biennale di Venezia, in cooperation with the Buffalo AKG Art Museum), with a facade consisting of numerous large windows and architectural elements that organize the building horizontally, it also reminds of the structure of Whitney's paintings.

Since the early 1990s, the painter has devoted himself to the artistic exploration of a very specific formal composition, his today famous recurring grid structures, which he gradually fills with close and dense lines of strong and saturated colors. In addition, the works are structured by three to five horizontal, narrow stripes of color. Whitney explains: "The grid came out of the idea of making it really simple. I wanted to have a format that was very simple so that the color could be the complex thing, it would all be about the color. [.] The format is so simple that the color can be free." (Whitney in an interview with the Colección Isabel y Agustín Coppel A.C.,

The creative process behind the works is closely linked to music, Whitney's second great passion, which is also reflected in the work’s title (or the titles of the associated series of works) "Stay Song". Going from upper left to lower right, the artist fills the picture’s surface with a broad brush and places one block of color next to the other, almost like writing music notes on a piece of paper. "A color calls another color", explains the artist (in an interview with Alteronce Gumby, Oral History Project, April 21, 2014, quoted from: This way the tonality of each color square determines the following one: a process that the music lover Whitney compares to the "call and response" principle between two solo instruments in jazz. The musical concept of harmony also plays a major role in Whitney's work, because it is harmony and disharmony in the interaction and the clash of the adjacent color values that makes for the unique appeal of his expressive, dynamic and rhythmic works.

The result is a painterly quilt, a square, composed of fields of bright colors with a winning rhythm and melody. With its synaesthetic energy, it appeals to not just one but several senses: "You are fixed in place as the painting dances around you", a journalist once wrote about Whitney's works (Arunda D'Souza for, May 30, 2017). After the revolutionary works of American Color Field Painting of the 1940s and 1950s, Whitney succeeds in breathing new energy and new life into abstract painting of the 21st century with his captivating, simply constructed and yet complex color compositions. [CH]


Buyer's premium, taxation and resale right compensation for Stanley Whitney "Stay Song #54"
This lot can be subjected to differential taxation plus a 7% import tax levy (saving approx. 5 % compared to regular taxation) or regular taxation, artist‘s resale right compensation is due.

Differential taxation:
Hammer price up to 800,000 €: herefrom 32 % premium.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 800,000 € is subject to a premium of 27 % and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 800,000 €.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 4,000,000 € is subject to a premium of 22 % and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 4,000,000 €.
The buyer's premium contains VAT, however, it is not shown.

Regular taxation:
Hammer price up to 800,000 €: herefrom 27 % premium.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 800,000 € is subject to a premium of 21% and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 800,000 €.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 4,000,000 € is subject to a premium of 15% and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 4,000,000 €.
The statutory VAT of currently 19 % is levied to the sum of hammer price and premium. As an exception, the reduced VAT of 7 % is added for printed books.

We kindly ask you to notify us before invoicing if you wish to be subject to regular taxation.

Calculation of artist‘s resale right compensation:
For works by living artists, or by artists who died less than 70 years ago, a artist‘s resale right compensation is levied in accordance with Section 26 UrhG:
4 % of hammer price from 400.00 euros up to 50,000 euros,
another 3 % of the hammer price from 50,000.01 to 200,000 euros,
another 1 % for the part of the sales proceeds from 200,000.01 to 350,000 euros,
another 0.5 % for the part of the sale proceeds from 350,000.01 to 500,000 euros and
another 0.25 % of the hammer price over 500,000 euros.
The maximum total of the resale right fee is EUR 12,500.

The artist‘s resale right compensation is VAT-exempt.