Robert Ryman by Charles Wylie
with a contribution by Claire De Dobay Rifelj
folio. pp. 60. profusely illustrated. biography. paperback. Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art & Yale University Press, .
ISBN-10: 0300114494 / ISBN-13: 9780300114492
Robert Ryman is considered one of the preeminent abstract painters of the last fifty years. This remarkable book features over two dozen of Ryman’s works from the 1960s to the present, all of which demonstrate his keen desire to investigate the essential properties of a painting—its color, surface, texture, support, and relationship to the wall on which it is displayed—in order to achieve direct and unmediated painterly effects.
The book comprises works from the artist’s own collection as well as from private and museum collections and includes a number of paintings that have never before been published. The beautiful illustrations document the artist’s career-long experimentation with and deviation from white—a basic, universal, and supposedly neutral color that becomes highly flexible and suggestive in Ryman’s hands—as well as his interest in using a variety of surfaces, from industrial metal to linen to canvas.
Ryman has created an unexpectedly varied, complex, and broad body of work within his chosen boundaries and continues to create some of today’s most challenging paintings.