Stanley Whitney featured in The Nelson-Atkins Museum's Juneteenth Celebrations
19 June 2020
Also known as Freedom Day, Juneteenth is an abbreviation of “June nineteenth” and honours the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas on 19 June, 1865. The history of freedom and equal rights after emancipation is a long and complex one; indeed, that history is still being written today. Juneteenth recognizes this ongoing struggle while celebrating the enduring contributions of African Americans.
The Nelson-Atkins Museum is commemorating Juneteenth by reflecting on history, and seeing the present through the eyes of Black artists while celebrating their creative impact. A selection of artists from the Kansas City museum's collection are being highlighted, including Nick Cave, Simone Leigh, Kerry James Marshall, Charles White and Stanley Whitney.
Stanley Whitney's Upstate (2005) belongs to a long tradition of geometric abstraction, his work is associated with the rhythms of jazz, Afro-Caribbean colors, and African and African American textiles. Whitney works intuitively, allowing the colors to advance and recede to create vibrant rhythms. Read more about Stanley Whitney's Upstate, highlighted on The Nelson-Atkins Museum's website here.
Image: Stanley Whitney, Upstate (2005) Oil on canvas (Detail)