Robert Ryman: Quietude Paintings

Robert Ryman, Untitled, c. 1960 (The Greenwich Collection Ltd., photo by Peter M
Robert Ryman, Untitled, c. 1960 (The Greenwich Collection Ltd., photo by Peter Malone)

Peter Malone reviews works by Robert Ryman at at Dia:Chelsea (through June 18) and Dia: Beacon (ongoing).

Malone writes: "Ryman’s work is often spoken of in terms of a pronounced quietude, but a full appreciation of its extended roots—effectively accomplished in the two Dia shows—can enrich the experience... The Chelsea show concentrates on color, highlighting the artist’s early development of his exclusive and by now signature choice of white paint. The Beacon show concentrates on his attentiveness to the ambient light that has such a profound effect on a viewer’s experience of the work. The Chelsea show echoes formal concerns similar to those of early modernism, while the Beacon show seems to touch upon that period’s infatuation with spirituality, a phenomenon that was itself a revival of a much older aesthetic."