From Red to White

Posted on May 3, 2012

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I’ve been meaning to post something about Robert Ryman for weeks. A hyperlink to a Google image search makes a memorable impression and decent place of departure.

From the first live view of Mr. Ryman’s work at MoMA in the 90’s, I was hooked. The edges, the tape, the surfaces, the oil stains, and the consideration for the thing (the painting) was enough to send my painter brain into a flurry of desperation to get back to my studio. And then there was the paint. The paint. Either thinly laid on, thickly piled, or jokingly absent – revealing information about the materials and how they work. The mechanics of painting are naked for us to see but there is still something unknown within each piece.

You can look at Ryman’s work online, but see it in real life if you can. His work is in many major museum collections although not always on view. There is an ongoing exhibit at DIA Art Foundation in Beacon, NY. The best choice if you want to go like this weekend.

There is a great book about Ryman by Robert Storr. It was written in 1993 for the Tate Gallery/MoMA exhibit that toured. I believe the book might be out of print, but I am certain you can find it used out there on the Internets.

Untitled, 1961 – Museum of Modern Art

Untitled, 1962 – Whitney Museum of American Art

Untitled, 1965 – San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

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Posted in: Art