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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)


Photo: Paul Macapia



Robert Ryman

American, 1930-2019

For over thirty years Ryman has restricted himself to white pigments on a square format. "I don't consider that I paint white paintings," he says. White "enables other things to become visible." Ryman's singular format draws attention to the basal elements of painting: the physical aspects of the paint; the manner in which it is applied; the color and texture of the paint support; the attachment of the painted square to the wall. This approach may seem rigid and ascetic, but the diversity of Ryman's oeuvre attests to his delight in improvising new solutions to his chosen limititations. His efforts have raised consciousness about the tangible essentials of abstract art.
Oil on aluminum
59 3/4 x 58 in. (151.8 x 147.3 cm)
Gift of Mrs. Corydon Wagner
Provenance: [Young Hoffman Gallery, Chicago, Illinois]; purchased by Seattle Art Museum with funds from R.D. Merrill Foundation/Mrs. Corydon Wagner, Seattle, Washington
Photo: Paul Macapia
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistoryChicago, Illinois, Young Hoffman Gallery, Robert Ryman: Paintings, Mar. 12 - Apr. 13, 1982

New York, New York, Guggenheim Museum, Abstraction In The 20th Century, Feb. 8 - May 10, 1996

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Collection Highlights: 1945 To The Present, Sept. 12, 1996 - June 1, 1997

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, International Abstraction: Making Painting Real, May 2, 2003 - Feb. 29, 2004

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Modern in America, July 8, 2004 - Feb. 27, 2005

Published ReferencesRosenthal, Mark. Abstraction in the Twentieth Century: Total Risk, Freedom, Discipline. New York: Guggenheim Museum, 1996; p. 201, reproduced fig. 198.

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