Robert Ryman at PaceWildenstein Gallery at 32 E 57 Street in New York. Installation View. All images via PaceWildenstein Gallery unless otherwise noted
Currently on view at PaceWildenstein Gallery is “Robert Ryman: Large-small, thick-thin, light reflecting, light absorbing” – the exhibition of thirty new paintings of the renowned minimalist American artists. Executed in Ryman’s signature monochromatic palette the paintings on display measure ten to thirty square inches and represent a wide gamut of experimentation in materials, including wood, MDF board, aluminum, and stretched cotton. The works appear strong and indestructible, although painted on the paper-thin material Tyvek. In addition to traditional graphite and ink, Ryman employs such painterly materials as acrylic varnish, enamel and epoxy. To hang the paintings to the walls, the artist will use regular staples, which are a traditional integral part of his aesthetics.
More images, text and related links after the jump…
Robert Ryman putting together his exhibition via Richmond Center for Visual Arts
Dedicating the present exhibition to the magical properties of lights and its perception by the viewer, in his statement Ryman writes: “In my studio I see the paintings with daylight from above, on cloudy and sunny days, and in incandescent light, in various strengths, without daylight. It is not just the intensity of the light, but the direction of the source that is important, and in each light situation the paintings looked different. At one point, I thought I would not be able to show the paintings because I could not know how they would look. How is someone going to know how the paintings work with light? However, I quickly got over that. Paintings don’t have much meaning unless they go out into the world”.
Robert Ryman Vector 1997. In this classic work, the viewer can see the artist’s signature metal brackets.
Born in 1930, Robert Ryman is one of the major exponents of American minimalism and conceptual art. In 1953, Ryman moved from his native Nashville, Tennessee to New York to pursue a career of the jazz saxophonist. Ryman obtained a position of a security guard at the Museum of Modern Art, where he soon met Sol Lewitt and Dan Flavin, who also worked at the museum. Having begun to experiment with painting in the late 50’s, Ryman had his first solo show at Paul Bianchinni in 1967. His first museum exhibition was held in 1971 in Guggenheim Museum. Since then, works by Robert Ryman were acquired by a large number of venerated art institutions worldwide, including Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Musée national d’art moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia Museum of Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Tate Gallery, London; Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Hallen fuer Neue Kunst, a contemporary art museum in Shauffhausen, Switzerland houses the largest public collection of Ryman’s work, permanently exhibiting 29 pieces created from 1959 to 2007.
Installation at Pace Wildenstein
Most recently, Robert Ryman in collaboration with Yasmil Raymond, Curator, Dia: Art Foundation reinstalled the galleries displaying his work at this renowned museum of contemporary art. The artist reinvented the space at Dia, allowing the viewer to see his classic work in the fresh spacial arrangement. Ryman is also planning a major re-installation in Hallen fuer Neue Kunst, recreating the exhibition into Gesamtkunstwerk – a synthesis of his three decade long creative output.
Robert Ryman Varese Wall on view at Dia: Beacon via Dia Art Foundation
Classified by art historians as “minimalist” and “conceptual artist”, Ryman prefers the title “realist” , claiming that in his work he attempts to represent materials at their face value. His most prominent quote is: “There is never any question of what to paint only how to paint.” The exhibition at PaceWildenstein is on view until March 27, 2010.
Exhibition web-page: [Pace Wildenstein Gallery]
The artist’s page at Dia:Beacon [ Dia Art Foundation]
The artist’s page at Hallen fuer Neue Kunst [ Hallen fuer Neue Kunst]
The artist’s page at MoMa [Museum of Modern Art]