Robert Ryman (born 1930)

Robert Ryman is known as the painter of white paintings. One of the most notable abstract artists of his generation, he emerged in the late 1960s in the wake of Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art. Born in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1952 he moved New York to study jazz. However, in 1961 he began to paint full-time following seven years first hand ‘art training’ as a gallery attendant at the Museum of Modern Art. Ryman’s central concern is the act of painting - “there is never any question of what to paint only how to paint”. His palette was quickly limited to white and he reduced his work to a minimum, exploring scale and surface texture. This led to associations with Minimalism. From 1976 he began to include metal fastenings in his work, which serve both a visual and a practical role.