Robert Ryman: The Act of Looking

Joseph Nechvatal reviews Robert Ryman: The Act of Looking at the Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris.

Nechvatal observes: “The piece with oil on aluminum panel and four bolts called Accord (1985) I think is the best in the show, because the rolled or sprayed ‘pure’ opticality of the white surface (leitmotif of the Ryman style) on thin silver––with its spatial push-pull––is a fine example of the tension that Ryman can create from the opposition between surface materiality and opticality in relationship to the edges of the painting and the painting’s relationship to the wall on which it is hung. This ambiguity of the painting’s boundary in relation to the wall that contains it draws visual attention into the expanded-subtle-vibrational field.”