Robert Ryman, Untitled, 2010, oil on stretched cotton canvas, 22" x 22" x 2-1/2" (55.9 cm x 55.9 cm x 6.4 cm) © 2019 Robert Ryman / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Robert Ryman


b. 1930, Nashville, TN
d. 2019, New York

Robert Ryman attended the Tennessee Polytechnic Institute and the George Peabody College for Teachers in Nashville. After enlisting in the United States Army (1950–52), he moved to New York to play jazz.

In 1953 he took a temporary job—where he would ultimately work for seven years—as a guard at The Museum of Modern Art. Soon after, he would decide to devote his career towards painting. For over five decades, Robert Ryman engaged in an ongoing experiment with painting. He sought to modify his approach, resisted the comfort of tendency, and maintained the freshness of uncharted territory. From each experience Ryman gleaned the variables for a revised proposition and the impetus to propel him towards his next move. Since Ryman’s first solo exhibition in 1967, his work has been the subject of over 100 solo exhibitions in 12 countries.


Robert Ryman, Untitled, 1965, oil on canvas, 11-1/4" x 11-1/4" x 1-1/4" (28.6 cm x 28.6 cm x 3.2 cm) © 2019 Robert Ryman / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York


Robert Ryman, Untitled, c. 1964, pastel and charcoal on Chemex coffee filter paper, 12-3/8" (31.4 cm) diameter © 2019 Robert Ryman / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York