The abstract painter Stanley Whitney — known for his signature grids of bold color inspired by jazz, American craft quilting and the midcentury Color Field artists — has been making art in New York for more than 50 years, but only in the last decade has he attracted widespread attention from curators and collectors. One of those collectors is the Broadway theater director Joe Mantello, who moved to Manhattan in 1984. While Whitney, now 72, has plied his solitary craft since his own arrival to New York in the late ’60s — not quite fitting with more overtly political black artists or the white male-dominated Expressionists — Mantello, now 56, blazed through the city’s theater scene, first as an actor (in 1993, he originated the role of Louis in Tony Kushner’s “Angels in America” on Broadway) and then as a lauded director of shows ranging from extravagant musicals (Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman’s 2003 “Wicked”) to seminal gay plays (Terrence McNally’s 1995 “Love! Valour! Compassion!”) to popular revivals (last year’s production of Edward Albee’s “Three Tall Women”). This month, he brings Lucas Hnath’s obliquely political comedy “Hillary and Clinton” to Broadway.
Mantello has often favored simple sets, but the opposite might be said of his West Village townhouse, which is decorated with art in bursting colors. He discovered Whitney’s work in 2015, when the painter had his first solo museum exhibition in New York at the Studio Museum in Harlem. They met last December at a Chelsea restaurant close to Lisson Gallery, which was hosting “In the Color,” Whitney’s show of works from 1996 to 2018, and together they reflected on the vast differences between their disciplines — and their strikingly similar life goals.
JOE MANTELLO: What I envy about your work is that you always know when you’re looking at a Stanley Whitney painting. My work is based on underlying material that I am — with a group of people — interpreting, and so it takes on the personality and rhythm of the group. But how great would it be to just have if not a restriction, a point of view with your work, which you’re doing variations on.
STANLEY WHITNEY: A signature style is a very odd thing now. It’s not something people really think is a good idea anymore. They feel it’s a limitation. So artists now do video and different kinds of things. I don’t feel that way, which gives me a lot of freedom. It’s almost like playing the same song over and over again. When I heard Ornette Coleman’s third album, “The Shape of Jazz to Come” (1959), that’s when I figured out who I intellectually wanted to be, how radical I wanted to be and what that meant. I didn’t play music, but the music was there before the painting. In my house, there was always music — you’d go to bed with the radio on.
JM: Do you paint to music?
SW: I do. I painted with the same album for 29 years — Miles Davis’s “Bitches Brew” (1970). But once you start painting, you sort of become the music. You’re not really listening.
JM: Are you alone when you paint?
SW: No one else.
JM: See, that’s what I envy.
SW: Well, I was always a loner. I grew up outside Philadelphia with movies as a kid — always matinees — but the idea of live theater was something I never thought I could be part of.
JM: It’s fascinating to hear that. I felt that with the art world — like there was this membrane that I couldn’t penetrate as somebody who was really interested in collecting.
SW: New York’s art scene used to be really tough to access. Now things cross over more. When I came to town in the ’60s, there were rules and regulations. If you were a figurative painter, it was hard to be a big player. You couldn’t do certain things.
T: But Joe, you’ve become a knowledgeable collector of work, including Stanley’s. Does the art inspire your own?
JM: The painters that I love, there’s a simplicity to the work that I also strive for, that is clean. I don’t mean to be reductive about Stanley’s process, but it’s not baroque. It’s straightforward and it’s strong.
SW: Yeah, there’s nothing hidden. Everything’s in front of you. There are squares of colors with lines in between, every shape’s a different color. It’s not a great idea, but —
JM: There is undeniable power to it.
SW: It’s like Cézanne painting an apple, it’s not a great idea. Early on I would hear, “How do you do this, how do you make that?” I didn’t want to have that conversation. I wanted people to see that the paintings are all the same but totally different. Like people.
JM: What I try to do — I don’t want a production to be about me. I think there are directors who do that beautifully, but that’s never been my interest. I want it to feel absolutely very considered — not a piece out of place — but I want you to walk away and talk about the play. I’m not interested in you talking about me, I’ve got me. And so the people that I admire allow you to just disappear into their work. Stanley, do you consider the viewer when you’re painting, or do you paint for yourself?
SW: When I’m painting, I’m the viewer. I don’t think there will be anybody as critical as myself. Sometimes I’m really shocked where my paintings are in people’s homes, but they’re really made to be lived with, not just looked at.
T: That’s a contrast between your fields. Joe’s job is to make an instant, fleeting connection with a large group of people.
JM: I wish I was thinking about the audience a little less, and I think I’m moving toward that, but when someone is paying hundreds for a Broadway ticket, I feel a responsibility to entertain. If I had disdain for the audience, I don’t think I would have lasted as long.
SW: How did you get from being an actor to being a director?
JM: There was a theater called the Circle Repertory Company downtown, in the late ’80s. It was on-the-job training, and without that kind of nurturing and support, this would never be my profession.
SW: Were you directing when you were an actor? Were you like, “This should be this way or that way” or —
JM: I don’t think I was doing it literally, but when I look back, I was doing it. I had a keenly developed sense of the overall vision that was running in my head parallel to my own performance that I didn’t identify as “being a director” until later. I do envy the idea of going into a studio, closing the door, being by yourself and just making stuff. But what about failure, Stanley — do you allow yourself to make mistakes?
SW: For me, there’s no mistake, there’s no failure. When I was young, I used to think I had a bad day, but now I realize a bad day is a good day. Because a bad day is when you’re trying to get to a different level.
T: But don’t you look back and see mistakes you’ve made?
SW: Yeah, but you’re a different person. The person who painted [those paintings from the ’90s at Lisson] doesn’t exist anymore.
JM: I feel that, too. The only thing I have to compare it to is “Wicked.” The show has been running for 15 years, and when I go back and see it now, I think, “The person who directed that show does not exist.” I see a younger man’s mistakes, a younger man’s point of view.
SW: Did you come to New York to get involved with Broadway?
JM: I guess I did in some way. But I went to drama school in Winston-Salem, N.C. I enjoyed my time there, but it was impractical. We were being trained for a regional theater movement that was on its way out. I’m from Rockford, Ill., and I always wanted to come to New York.
SW: Art school saved my life, but it was very different in those days, more like a trade school. If you could draw, you could go. I went from Philly to Columbus to Kansas City and then to Yale for graduate school. I was just trying to beat the draft — 1964, when I got out of high school, was a big draft year. My friends who came to New York right away got drafted.
T: What sort of impression did the city make when you both first got here?
JM: In 1984, it was a much more dangerous place but a much more exciting place. I don’t think it was just because I was young. It felt different.
SW: I never thought of it as dangerous. I was used to that kind of danger. But then money changed everything, and, you know, it’s a really good thing for me! But it’s like, all of a sudden, where are the poets? I never thought I’d have any money, but what you want to do with art is work up to your potential. So now I have money and there’s no excuse. I had a lot of dream time — maybe 10, 15 years when no one bothered me. I wanted to be bothered. But I painted a lot and threw a lot of things out. Now, for young artists, I think it’s very hard to figure out where they are in the world. The gallerists own you right away. They’re like sharks to blood.
JM: Broadway has always been commercial, but it’s very different than when I moved to the city, when a new play without stars could really flourish. That’s pretty rare these days. I was able to develop a way of working when no one was interested, because you have to go down dead ends. I got to make work with no hype and no buzz. And is that possible today? I don’t know. But I’ve been incredibly fortunate. When you have a show like “Wicked” that removes a certain kind of stress, you then have the luxury and the responsibility of making the best use of your time.
SW: One reason I think people got to me very late in my career was I had my own personal vision. I wasn’t out to be famous. Basquiat wanted to be famous. I wasn’t thinking about that. In the ’60s, I wasn’t making political art — it wasn’t fashionable. There was nothing really to talk about with my work.
T: On the other hand, Joe has always been involved in political art, especially around the AIDS crisis.
JM: I wouldn’t say that it was a considered position on my part. I did the things that I was interested in doing, and they spoke to the culture in a larger way.
SW: I think my paintings are very political. People are surprised by who makes them and where they come from — they raise a lot of questions. That opens up a lot of doors. “If he can do that, I can do this.” And that’s how I’m political.
JM: That’s because, in some ways, you played the long game, right? That’s what I’m interested in. I feel like no one production that I’ve directed is the ultimate definition of who I am. I think if I get to the end of my life, if anyone is interested to look back on —
SW: The whole thing.
JM: The whole thing — yes, that’s the work.
SW: Exactly. That’s how I feel. When I title my paintings I think, “When I die, people are going to look at the titles and figure out who I was.” People at the Lisson show saw titles [from 2018] like “They Come Dancing,” “We Sing” and “The Secret of Black Song & Laughter.” But it’s a long game. You kind of want to be at your own memorial to see what you did. I knew people who figured out their subject matter early on. It took me a long time to figure out that color was my subject. And now, I’m always sitting there as if it’s my first painting. The other paintings don’t count. You did all your homework. Let it go, let it go. Jump out the window.
JM: That’s the moment. When you arrive at that place, it’s so liberating because the only person you answer to is yourself, and that’s a glorious feeling.
This interview has been edited and condensed.B:
二码合一是不是港行【第】【一】【百】【一】【十】【四】【章】【进】【入】【正】【题】 【在】【大】【榕】【树】【与】【食】【人】【树】【等】【十】【三】【太】【保】【的】【期】【待】【中】，【丹】【桂】【在】【自】【己】【构】【造】【的】【虚】【拟】【空】【间】【内】【盛】【情】【地】【向】【对】【方】【展】【示】【了】【自】【己】【的】【第】【一】【异】【技】【能】。 【在】【第】【一】【异】【技】【能】“【乾】【坤】【圣】【手】”【的】【展】【示】【中】，【第】【一】【式】“【幽】【冥】【鬼】【爪】”【和】【第】【二】【式】“【皓】【天】【锤】”【分】【别】【展】【现】【出】【惊】【人】【的】【威】【力】，【将】【眼】【前】【的】【目】【标】【轻】【松】【粉】【碎】，【让】【围】【观】【者】【为】【之】【一】【振】，【纷】【纷】【对】【其】【赞】【不】【绝】
【从】【东】【吴】【那】【边】【调】【来】【的】【一】【支】【军】【队】，【大】【约】【有】1【万】【人】，【这】【一】【万】【人】【算】【是】【暂】【时】【借】【给】【孔】【明】【的】，【但】【这】【并】【不】【是】【孔】【明】【捡】【了】【一】【个】【大】【便】【宜】，【随】【行】【的】【还】【有】【周】【瑜】、【吕】【蒙】【两】【人】。 【这】【两】【人】【也】【是】【监】【视】【孔】【明】，【避】【免】【孔】【明】【让】1【万】【人】【当】【了】【炮】【灰】。 【虽】【然】【孔】【明】【从】【未】【这】【么】【说】，【但】【不】【代】【表】【他】【不】【这】【么】【想】，【反】【正】【死】【道】【友】【不】【死】【贫】【道】，【这】【么】【合】【适】【自】【己】【真】【没】【来】，【虽】【然】【多】【少】【有】【些】【龌】【龊】
【金】【黄】【色】【的】【旗】【帜】【在】【大】【风】【里】【招】【摇】。 【数】【百】【人】【的】【锣】【鼓】【队】【走】【在】【最】【前】【列】。 【随】【后】【是】【各】【种】【东】【方】【的】【特】【色】【乐】【器】【齐】【齐】【奏】【鸣】。 【十】【六】【匹】【骏】【马】【拉】【着】【的】【车】【架】，【缓】【缓】【的】【朝】【着】【玫】【瑰】【之】【都】【驶】【来】。 【许】【多】【玫】【瑰】【之】【都】【的】【市】【民】【冲】【出】【了】【城】【或】【是】【站】【在】【城】【墙】【上】【眺】【望】。 【一】【队】【数】【百】【人】【的】【骑】【兵】，【已】【经】【风】【一】【般】【的】【刮】【了】【出】【来】，【然】【后】【列】【队】【看】【着】【靠】【近】【的】【队】【伍】。 【他】【们】【身】【上】
【再】【次】【见】【郭】【京】【云】，【事】【情】【办】【得】【很】【顺】【利】。 【她】【删】【除】【了】【自】【己】【保】【存】【的】【录】【音】，【郭】【京】【云】【也】【把】【解】【约】【书】【直】【接】【给】【她】【了】。 【临】【走】【之】【时】，【郭】【京】【云】【唤】【了】【她】：“【小】【鱼】，【我】【这】【里】【的】【大】【门】【随】【时】【为】【你】【敞】【开】。” 【时】【小】【鱼】【回】【身】：“【不】【求】【郭】【老】【板】【高】【抬】【贵】【手】，【只】【求】【郭】【老】【板】【在】【我】【所】【走】【的】【路】【上】【少】【放】【些】【绊】【脚】【石】，【我】【已】【感】【激】【不】【尽】【了】。” “【在】【你】【心】【里】，【是】【如】【此】【看】【我】【的】？二码合一是不是港行【大】【魔】【导】【演】【武】【的】【第】【四】【天】，【竞】【技】【的】【主】【题】‘【海】【战】’。【每】【个】【队】【伍】【派】【出】【一】【名】【选】【手】【参】【加】，【听】【名】【字】【就】【知】【道】【是】【和】【水】【有】【关】【的】【竞】【技】，【所】【以】【妖】【精】【尾】【巴】【的】【两】【只】【队】【伍】【分】【别】【派】【出】【了】【朱】【比】【亚】【和】【有】【水】【瓶】【座】【钥】【匙】【的】【露】【西】。 【在】【确】【定】【所】【有】【参】【赛】【选】【手】【之】【后】，【宽】【敞】【的】【会】【场】【中】【央】【凝】【聚】【起】【了】【一】【个】【直】【径】【数】【十】【米】【长】【的】【水】【球】，【然】【后】【就】【是】【对】【于】【规】【则】【的】【解】【说】，【在】【这】【个】【球】【状】【的】【水】【中】【竞】【技】
【比】【赛】【开】【局】【三】【分】【四】【十】【八】【秒】，【黑】【豆】【奶】【就】【已】【经】【推】【上】【了】F10【的】【高】【地】。 【后】【羿】【的】【经】【济】【遥】【遥】【领】【先】【于】F10【战】【队】【最】【高】【经】【济】【的】**。 【面】【对】【黑】【豆】【奶】【的】【咄】【咄】【逼】【人】。F10【决】【定】【背】【水】【一】【战】，【切】【掉】【后】【羿】。【只】【要】【切】【掉】【后】【羿】。【黑】【豆】【奶】【必】【将】【群】【龙】【无】【首】。 【周】【梦】【龙】【的】**【不】【愧】【是】【玩】【的】【出】【神】【入】【化】。【在】【后】【羿】【推】【高】【地】【的】【时】【候】，【他】【直】【接】【冲】【入】【黑】【豆】【奶】【人】【群】【锁】【定】
【失】【去】【一】【只】【翅】【膀】，【备】【受】【重】【创】，【甚】【至】【不】【能】【再】【凌】【空】【飞】【行】【的】【碧】【眼】【疾】【风】【狼】，【惨】【烈】【的】【大】【吼】【了】【一】【声】，【兽】【目】【圆】【瞪】，【通】【红】【的】【色】【泽】【里】【面】【布】【满】【了】【仇】【恨】【和】【虐】【杀】。 【它】【周】【身】【兽】【力】【迸】【发】，【毛】【发】【直】【竖】，【巨】【大】【的】【爪】【子】【比】【神】【兵】【利】【器】【还】【要】【锋】【利】，【张】【开】【的】【血】【盆】【大】【口】【当】【中】，【尖】【锐】【的】【利】【齿】【泛】【着】【冰】【冷】【的】【光】【泽】，【凶】【狠】【的】【朝】【南】【宫】【衿】【撕】【咬】。 【南】【宫】【衿】【心】【知】【这】【畜】【生】【已】【经】【被】【彻】【底】【的】
【砰】！ 【一】【声】【刚】【猛】【的】【爆】【裂】【之】【声】。 【围】【绕】【在】【房】【屋】【四】【周】【的】【那】【层】【结】【界】，【应】【声】【破】【为】【碎】【片】，【朝】【着】【四】【面】【消】【散】【而】【去】。 【五】【兽】【拳】【的】【威】【力】，【再】【一】【次】【得】【到】【了】【明】【显】【的】【提】【升】。 【经】【过】【这】【段】【岁】【月】【的】【磨】【合】，【这】【两】【种】【强】【大】【的】【武】【技】，【被】【李】【锋】【打】【磨】【了】【无】【数】【次】，【也】【从】【中】，【发】【现】【了】【不】【少】【的】【问】【题】，【好】【在】，【都】【被】【彻】【底】【改】【善】。 【离】【开】【房】【屋】【之】【后】，【放】【眼】【望】【去】，【在】【东】【南】