Roberta Smith reviews works by Robert Ryman at Dia:Chelsea, New York, on view through June 18, 2016.
Smith writes: "In effect, Mr. Ryman has spent his career circling Point A, proving that there are an infinite number of ways to meet painting’s basic requirements... It helps to think of Mr. Ryman as a kind of philosopher-carpenter with an inborn, almost mystical love of paint as paint. He wants us to understand its sensuousness while he demonstrates that paintings are in effect 'built' from scores of decisions and details, and then proceeds to challenge our definition of his medium. 'Is this a painting?' 'Is that a painting?' could be taken as the main credo of his art. He doesn’t always provide easy answers."