75 Reasons to Live: Gary Garrels on Robert Ryman’s Untitled, 1958

Gary Garrels is Elise S. Haas Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture at SFMOMA. Here he talks about a work by one of his favorite painters, Robert Ryman: Untitled, 1958. Garrels meditates on Ryman's square white paintings and how the artist moved forward from Abstract Expressionism, shifting the focus from the act of painting to the act of seeing.

Remember the end of Manhattan, when Woody Allen asks himself what makes life worth living? In January 2010, during SFMOMA's three-day 75th anniversary celebration, 75 people from the Bay Area creative community gave extremely short talks — 7.5 minutes or less! — on a single collection work of their choosing. Someone called it "manic splendor" — and it was. You can view all of the talks on The Anniversary Show exhibition page. Or look for them here, on Open Space.
75 Reasons to Live
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