Skip to main content

Pace Galleries

Cart icon

Robert Ryman

No Title Required

About Robert Ryman

Robert Ryman (b. 1930, Nashville, TN; d. 2019, New York) 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.

Press Release

  • Robert Ryman: No Title Required
    Robert Ryman’s exhibition of new large-scale paintings, entitled No Title Required, opens this week at PaceWildenstein, 32 East 57th Street. A public reception will be held for the artist on the evening of Thursday, March 1st from 6-8 p.m. The exhibition will be on view from March 2 through April 7, 2007. No Title Required consists of four new paintings by the artist. The largest painting consists of ten panels painted with enamel on cherry, maple, and oak. This work is one of the artist’s largest-scale serial pieces to date. Previous multi-panel paintings include Vector, 1975-97, currently installed at Dia: Beacon, and Back Talk, ca. 1964, which was recently seen in his one-man exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Art. Three paintings, each 89 x 89", are oil on canvas on maple panel. Since 1965 Ryman has organized his work systematically, and regularly paints in series. The four Winsor paintings from 1965-6, thirteen Standard paintings on rolled steel from 1967, eighteen Surface Veils from 1970-2, and sixteen Version paintings from 1991-2 are just a few examples. Ryman has also created large-scale panel paintings including a 1968 exhibition of six paintings composed of nine panels each at Konrad Fischer, Düsseldorf, and VII, a seven-panel installation exhibited at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam in 1975. Ryman is known for his experimentation and achievement of pictorial complexity through a vigorous investigation of paint and brushwork on a wide range of supports. He once remarked in an interview, “I let the paint develop itself. And then I see how I feel about what is progressing and how the space is working. It is a controlled approach without controlling it…. I simply try and let it happen, let it develop.... the surface is built up slowly and can expand through the space of the structure.” Robert Ryman (b. 1930, Nashville, TN) studied at the Tennessee Polytechnic Institute and the George Peabody College for Teachers, Nashville, before enlisting and serving in the United States Army (1950-52). In 1952 Ryman relocated to New York City, where, fifteen years later, he had his first solo exhibition. Since that time, Ryman’s work has been the subject of over 100 solo exhibitions in 12 countries including a 1993-94 international, traveling retrospective jointly organized by the Tate Gallery, London, and The Museum of Modern Art, New York, whose venues also included the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. In 2000-01, Haus der Kunst, Munich, organized Robert Ryman Retrospective, which later traveled to the Kunstmuseum Bonn. The Kawamura Memorial Museum of Art organized the first retrospective exhibition of Ryman’s work ever held in Japan in 2004. Recently, the Dallas Museum of Art mounted Robert Ryman from December 18, 2005 to April 2, 2006. The artist was also the subject of two important exhibitions in 2006: Inverleith House at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, Scotland presented Robert Ryman at Inverleith House from July 17 through October 1, 2006, and a few weeks later, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia opened an exhibition entitled Robert Ryman: Small Works from October 13, 2006 through January 28, 2007. Ryman’s work has been included in Documenta, Kassel, Germany (1972, 1977, 1982), the Venice Biennale (1976, 1978, 1980), Whitney Museum of American Art Biennial, New York (1977, 1987, 1995) and Carnegie International, Pittsburgh (1988). The recipient of numerous honors, Ryman has been awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Scholarship (1974); Skowhegan Medal from the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (1985); an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Art from Montserrate College of Art (2005); Roswitha Haftmann Foundation Prize, Zurich (2005); and the Japan Art Association’s Praemium Imperiale lauraeate (2005). He was elected to The American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York in 1994 and nine years later served as the Vice President. Ryman’s work can be found in over 40 public collections throughout the United States and abroad including: the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; The Art Institute of Chicago; Australian National Gallery, Canberra; Des Moines Art Center; Fundació “la Caixa,” Barcelona; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Musée national d’art moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Philadelphia Museum of Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Tate Gallery, London; Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. The artist lives and works in New York City. Additional information for No Title Required is available upon request by contacting Jennifer Benz Joy, Public Relations Associate, at 212.421.3292 or via email at


To read the full conversation, click here