Robert Ryman


1930, Nashville, Tennessee
2019, New York, New York

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Ryman on why he paints in all white

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Try to slow down as you look at these paintings—in permutations of white. 



So what do I paint? And what are my paintings about? Im not sure, but I dont think Ive ever painted a white painting, in the sense of—painting white as a color. 



Thats obviously the artist, Robert Ryman 



My use of white is used not as a subject matter, but as a neutral, in order to make elements of painting more clear. White has the capacity to make things visible.  



Ryman makes an important distinction between paintings, and pictures. Pictures give us some sort of illusion—pictorially, emotionally, et cetera. Look closely at Rymans application of paint, and how that relates to the surface its on. These are issues inherent and exclusive to paintings. They dont carry any extraneous meaning. Their impact is open-ended.

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