Whitney's works can be thought in relation to Donald Judd, Philip Guston and African esthetics. It is based on the idea of multiple horizon lines and relates to such basic human activities as textile making and architecture.
The structure of the paintings by Stanley Whitney is radical through its simplicity: rectangular blocks of color are layered on top of oneanother in rows and separated by horizontal ribbons of color. This structure purely serves the purpose of painting, yet at the same time representing communication on a metabolical level. Whitney's art is sumptuous and laconic, its efficiency strangely correlates to the city in which he lives: New York. Not mistakenly, the arrangement and the effect of the many color applications in various shades of green, orange, red, blue, etc. have been compared to the rhythm of jazz, a visual polyrhythm.
What remains fundamental is the playful approach to color, the dynamic tension that is introduced between the colors, the formal complexity, and the apparent nonchalance with which he attains it.