This comprehensive exhibition brings together five decades of Robert Ryman’s vital paintings. Since the 1950s, Ryman’s compositions have been both readily identified and identifiable by their achromatic surfaces. Deeply aware of his materials and their abilities, Ryman has described his aesthetic practice as a “challenge” to “make something happen” with paint. Viewers see and experience these painted frequencies of light as the color white, but Ryman’s radical exploration of the tonal values, light reflections, and spatial effects of white were never limited to paint. Very early on, his experimentations with canvas, board, and paper expanded to include aluminum, fiberglass, and Plexiglas, before evolving into a material vocabulary that is as revolutionary as his use of various white hues.
Robert Ryman: Opening conference with Robert Storr