Monochrome painting,

Robert Ryman

United States 1930 - 2019

Conceptual Art, Monochrome Painting, Abstract Art

Robert Ryman
Robert Ryman
United States
March 5, 2015
Music, Gestalt, .

Robert Ryman was an American painter identified with the movements of monochrome painting, minimalism, and conceptual art. He is best known for abstract, white-on-white paintings.

When Ryman, born in Nashville in 1930, Tennessee, arrived in New York in 1952 to study, his first ambition was jazz rather than art. He took a job as a guard at the Museum of Modern Art and worked there for seven years; during this time he became increasingly interested in the visual arts, and began painting. His development as a painter was not so much a linear process as a concentration on one theme: the pictorial complexity created through a reduced, extremely restricted visual vocabulary. By manipulating scale and texture in his work, Ryman created variations on the square format and the color white.

His paintings evoke an awareness of the act of painting, namely by drawing attention to brushstrokes, surfaces, and materials, as well as to the edges of the image and the relationship between the painting and the wall it hangs upon. Ryman’s art has often been described as Minimalist or Conceptual, while he prefers to use the term realistic, aiming not to create illusions with paint but to investigate the concrete presentation of painterly materials. Ryman experimented with painting on canvas, linen, and steel, as well as with different painting materials, techniques, and with printmaking.

It was not until the late 1960s that he began to exhibit regularly; he had his first solo show at Paul Bianchini’s gallery in 1967, at the age of 36. His first solo museum exhibition was held at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York in 1971. He held subsequent exhibitions at documenta 6 and 7 in Kassel, Germany, and at the Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. In 1983, a permanent exhibition of Ryman’s work was installed at the Hallen für neue Kunst in Switzerland, and an extensive solo exhibition was held for him the year he turned 70, at the Haus der Kunst in Munich.

Ryman died in New York on February 8, 2019 at the age of 88.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2014Solides Fragiles Mudam Luxembourg, Musée d’Art ModerneGrand-Duc Jean, Group
2014White Magic: Robert Ryman, Rudolf Staffel, David Nolan New York, Group
2014Make it New: Abstract Painting from the National Gallery of Art, 1950–1975 The Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, AugustGroup
2014Biennale of Painting: The Paintstroke Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Belgium, Group
2014Love Story – The Anne & Wolfgang Titze Collection Winter Palace and 21er Haus, Belvedere Vienna, Group
2014Mingei: Are You Here? Pace Gallery, 508 West 25th Street, New York,Group
2014Carte Blanche Pace at Chesa Büsin, Zuoz, Switzerland, Group
2014Fruits of Passion-The Collection of the Pompidou Center The Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, KobeGroup
2013Recent Paintings Pace, New YorkSolo
2013A Place In Two Dimensions: a Selection From Collección Jumex + Fred Sandback Museo Jumex, Mexico CityGroup
2013When Attitudes Become Form: Bern 1969 Venice 2013, Ca’ Corner della Regina Fondazione Prada, VeniceGroup
2013The Illusion of the Precise: Robert Ryman, Todd Williamson, Mark Williams Wade Wilson Gallery, HoustonGroup
2012Robert Ryman: Untitled, A Painting in Four Parts, 1963–1964 Gagosian Gallery, New YorkSolo
2012The Charm of Quasi-Parallel Lines Rhona Hoffman Gallery, ChicagoGroup
2012Materializing “Six Years”: Lucy R. Lippard and the Emergence of Conceptual Art Brooklyn Museum, New YorkGroup
2012Notations: Contemporary Drawing as Idea and Process Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University, Saint LouisGroup
2012White: The Anatomy of a Color National Academy Museum, New York, May 23–August 26, 2012.Group
2012Derive Barbara Krakow Gallery, BostonGroup
2011Structure & Absence White Cube, LondonGroup
2011Malevich and the American Legacy Gagosian Gallery, New YorkGroup
2011Contemporary Collecting: The Judith Neisser Collection Art Institute of ChicagoGroup
2011Drawn , Taped, Burned: Abstraction on Paper Katonah Museum of Art, New YorkGroup
2011Splendor of Dynamic Structure: Celebrating 75 Years of the American Abstract Artists HerbertF.JohnsonMuseum of Art, Group
2010Variations and Improvisations The Phillips Collection, WashingtonSolo
2010A Closer Look at Robert Ryman's Classico 5 MoMA PS1, New YorkSolo
2010Large-small, thick-thin, light reflecting, light absorbing PaceWildenstein, New YorkSolo
2010Variations & Improvisations The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.Solo
2010Robert Ryman, Dia Beacon Riggio Galleries, Beacon, New YorkSolo
2010On-Line: Drawing through the Twentieth Century The Museum of Modern Art, New YorkGroup
2010New Editions: Ingrid Calame, Tara Donovan, Robert Mangold, Robert Ryman and Dan Walsh Pace Prints, New YorkGroup
201050 Years at Pace,The Pace Gallery, 534 West 25th Street, and 545 West 22nd Street, New YorkGroup
2010Contemporary Collecting: Selections from the Donna and Howard Stone Collection Art Institute of ChicagoGroup
2010Reflection Peter Blum Gallery, New YorkGroup
2010With a Probability of Being Seen: Dorothee and Konrad Fischer: Archives of an Attitude Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona Group
2010Monet and Abstraction Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid – Traveled to: Musée Marmottan Monet, ParisGroup
2010Prints by Albers Judd, Reinhardt, Ryman and Tuttle Pace Prints, New YorkGroup
2009Robert Ryman Yvon Lambert, New YorkSolo
2009Collection: MOCA’s First 30 Years Museum of Contemporary Art, Los AngelesGroup
20091969 P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, New YorkGroup
2009Sans-Titre #1: Peintures des années 1970–1980 Œuvres de la Collection Lambert, Collection Lambert, AvignonGroup
2009Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, Robert Mangold, Robert Ryman Andrea Rosen Gallery, New YorkGroup
2009New York New Drawings 1946–2007 Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Esteban Vicente, SegoviaGroup
2009Piero Manzoni: A Retrospective Gagosian Gallery, New YorkGroup
2009White Light White Heat, HAUSER & WIRTH Colnaghi LondonGroup
2009ONE MORE Thomas Rehbein Galerie, CologneGroup
2008Advancing the Experience: Robert Ryman and Urs Raussmüller Hallen für neue Kunst, SchaffhausenSolo
2008for what you are about to receive, Gagosian Gallery Red October Chocolate Factory, MoskauGroup
2008Private , Corporate V Daimler Contemporary, BerlinGroup
2008Robert Ryman Urs Raussmüller, Hallen für neue Kunst, SchaffhausenGroup
2008SAMMLUNG: 1978 - 2008 Migros Museum, ZürichGroup
2008Face to Face The Daros Collections II, Daros Exhibitions, ZürichGroup
2008How Artists Draw Menil Collection, HoustonGroup
2008Abstract Vision Thomas Ammann, ZürichGroup
2007Contemporary Conversations: Robert Ryman, 1976 The Menil Collection, Houston, USASolo
2007Robert Ryman: No Title Required PaceWildenstein, 32 East 57th Street, New YorkSolo
2007Das schwarze Quadrat Kunsthalle Hamburg, Hamburg, GermanyGroup
2007Die Kunst zu Sammeln Museum Kunst Palast, D?sseldorf, GermanyGroup
2007MARTa schweigt MARTa Herford Museum f?r zeitgen?ssische Kunst, Herford, GermanyGroup
2007What Is Painting? MoMA, New York, USAGroup
2007Japan und der Westen - Die erfüllte Leere Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg, GermanyGroup
2007J'EMBRASSE PAS Collection Lambert, Avignon, FranceGroup
2006Robert Ryman: Small Works Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, PhiladelphiaSolo
2006Robert Ryman at Inverleith House Inverleith House, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, ScotlandSolo
2006Line and Surface - Works on Paper Peter Blum - Blumarts Inc., New York, NY, USAGroup
2006Soulages, Kelly, Ryman - Estampes Galerie Lelong, Paris, FranceGroup
2006Conversation with Art, on Art Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, Tokyo, JapanGroup
2006Travelin' Light Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht, NLGroup
2006Where are we going? Palazzo Grassi, Venedig, ItalyGroup
2006The Guggenheim Collection Kunst und Ausstellungshalle Bonn, Bonn, GermanyGroup
2006Plane Figure Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Winthertur, CHGroup
2006busy going crazy La Maison Rouge, Paris, FranceGroup
2005Robert Ryman Dallas Museum of Art, DallasSolo
2005Robert Ryman Xavier Hufkens, BrusselsSolo
2005Robert Ryman: Monotypes Pace Prints, New YorkSolo
2005Outside Europe - Aus der Sammlung DaimlerChrysler DaimlerChrysler Contemporary, Berlin, Germany Group
2005M?zene der Kunst auf Papier Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany Group
2005Salon dautomne Annemarie Verna Gallery, Zurich, Switzerland Group
2005Masterprints aus Privatsammlungen" Galerie Erhard Witzel, Wiesbaden, GermanyGroup
2005Leporello, Een reis door de collectie Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Group
2004Robert RymanPaceWildenstein, 534 West 25th Street, New York,Solo
2004Robert Ryman Kawamura Memorial Museum of Art, Sakura City, JapanSolo
2004Robert Ryman: Works on Paper 1957–1964 Peter Blum SoHo, New YorkSolo
2004Friedrich Christian Flick Collection im Hamburger Bahnhof Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum f?r Gegenwart, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2004Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam at Usce Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrad, Belgrade, Serbia Group
2004Still mapping the moon - Perspektiven zeitgen?ssischer Malerei Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn, Germany Group
2004Sommerausstellung Annemarie Verna Gallery, Zurich, Switzerland Group
2004Beyond Geometry - Experiments in Form 1940s?70s Los Angeles County Museum of Art - LACMA, Los Angeles, CA, USAGroup
2004Modern Means: Continuity and Change in Art from 1880 to the Present Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan Group
2004Singular Forms (Sometimes Repeated) - Art from 1951 to the Present Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY, USAGroup
2003New Paintings Haunch of Venison, London Solo
2002Robert Ryman PaceWildenstein, 534 West 25th Street, New YorkSolo
2002Robert Ryman Thomas Ammann Fine Art, ZurichSolo
2001Robert Ryman: Early and Recent Paintings Galerie Konrad Fischer, DüsseldorfSolo
2001UntitledKunstmuseum BonnSolo
2000Robert Ryman Retrospective Haus der Kunst, Munich – Traveled to: Kunstmuseum BonnSolo
2000Robert Ryman: Paintings from the Sixties, Xavier Hufkens, BrusselsSolo
1999Robert Ryman Studio 7 L, ParisSolo
1999Robert Ryman: Paintings PaceWildenstein, 32 East 57th Street, New YorkSolo
1996Temporary Contemporary Cheekwood Museum of Art, NashvilleSolo
1996Recent Paintings PaceWaldenstein, New YorkSolo
1996UntitledKukje Gallery, Seoul, KoreaSolo
1995Core Paintings PaceWaldenstein, New YorkSolo
1995Obra grafica completa Ediciones T Galeria D'Art, BarcelonaSolo
1995Robert Ryman Akira Ikeda Gallery, NagoyaSolo
1994Robert Ryman: Recent Painting Daniel Weinberg Gallery, San FranciscoSolo
1994Robert Ryman Prints 1969–93 Betsy Senior Gallery, New York Solo
1994Robert Ryman: New Paintings Galerie Marc Blondeau, ParisSolo
1993Robert Ryman: New Paintings The Pace Gallery, 142 Greene Street, New York,Solo
1993Robert Ryman, Hallen für neue Kunst, Schaffhausen, SwitzerlandSolo
1993Robert Ryman, Tate Gallery, London – traveled to: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, May 25–August 16, 1993; The Museum of 1993Modern Art, New York, September 22, 1993–January 4, 1994; Solo
1993Works on paper Victoria Miro Gallery, LondonSolo
1992Robert Ryman: Works on Paper Galerie Konrad Fischer, DüsseldorfSolo
1992Robert Ryman: Versions Hallen für neue Kunst, SchaffhausenSolo
1991RENN Esapce d'Art Contemporain, Paris Hallen f?r neueSolo
1990New PaintingsThe Pace Gallery, New YorkSolo
1990Six Aquatints Nohra Haime gallery, New YorkSolo
1989Prints The Projects Room John Weber Gallery, New YorkSolo
1988UntitledDIA Art Foundation, New York (cat.)Solo
1987UntitledKonrad Fischer Galerie, DusseldorfSolo
1987The Charter Series, A Meditative Room for the Collection of Gerald S. Elliott", The Art Institute of Chicago, Solo
1986Recent Paintings Galerie Maeght Lelong, New YorkSolo
1986UntitledLeo Castelli Gallery, New YorkSolo
1986Currents Institute for Contemporary Art, BostonSolo
1986UntitledRaum f?r Malerei, CologneSolo
1985UntitledRhona Hoffman Gallery, ChicagoSolo
1984New Paintings Galerie Maeght Lelong, New YorkSolo
1984Peintures r?centes Galerie Maeght Lelong, Paris (cat.)Solo
1983UntitledBonnier Gallery, New YorkSolo
1983UntitledDaniel Weinberg Gallery, Los AngelesSolo
1982Paintings Young Hoffman Gallery, ChicagoSolo
1982Recent Paintings Mayor Gallery, LondonSolo
1981UntitledSidney Janis Gallery, New YorkSolo
1980Neue Bilder Kunstraum M?nchen, MunichSolo
1980UntitledKonrad Fischer Galerie, DusseldorfSolo
1980InK Halle f?r internationale neue Kunst, Zurich (cat.)Solo
1979UntitledSidney Janis Gallery, New York (cat.)Solo
1979InK Halle f?r internationale neue Kunst, Zurich (cat.)Solo
1978InK Halle f?r internationale neue Kunst, Zurich (cat.)Solo
1977Neue Bilder Galerie Annemarie Verna, ZurichSolo
1977UntitledWhitechapel Art Gallery, London (cat.)Solo
1977Paintings 1976 PS 1, New YorkSolo
1977UntitledGallerie Gian Enzo Sperone, RomeSolo
1977UntitledGalerie Charles Kriwin, BrusselSolo
1975UntitledKunsthalle Basel (cat.)Solo
1975Paintings and Prints John Weber Gallery, New YorkSolo
1974UntitledStedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Amsterdam (cat.)Solo
1974Komplette Graphik Westf?lischer Kunstverein (cat.)Solo
1974UntitledJohn Weber Gallery, New YorkSolo
1974UntitledPalais des Beaux-Arts, BrusselSolo
1973UntitledGalleria San Fedele, Milano (cat.)Solo
1973Paintings and Etchings John Weber Gallery, New YorkSolo
1973Art & Project AmsterdamSolo
1973UntitledKonrad Fischer Galerie, DusseldorfSolo
1972Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum New York (cat.)Solo
1972Early paintings John Weber Gallery, New YorkSolo
1972UntitledGalerie Annemarie Verna, ZurichSolo
1972UntitledGalerie Heiner Friedrich, CologneSolo
1972UntitledCurrent Editions, SeattleSolo
1972UntitledGalleria II Cortile, RomeSolo
1972UntitledLisson Gallery, LondonSolo
1971UntitledFischbach Gallery, New YorkSolo
1971UntitledDwan Gallery, New YorkSolo
1971UntitledGalerie Heiner Friedrich, CologneSolo
1971UntitledCurrents Editions, SeattleSolo
1970Delta Paintings 1966 Fischbach Gallery, New YorkSolo
1969UntitledFischbach Gallery, New YorkSolo
1969Wall Show - Part I Ace Gallery, Los Angeles Solo
1969UntitledKonrad Fischer Galerie, DusseldorfSolo
1969Drawings Galerie Heiner Friedrich, MunichSolo
1969UntitledGalerie Yvon Lambert, ParisSolo
1969UntitledGalerie Francoise Lambert, MilanoSolo
1968UntitledGalerie Heiner Friedrich, MunichSolo
1968UntitledKonrad Fischer Galerie, DüsseldorfSolo
1967UntitledPaul Bianchini Gallery, New YorkSolo