Collection 1940s–1970s

Robert Ryman. Classico 5. 1968 468

Robert Ryman. Classico 5, 1968. Acrylic on twelve sheets of paper. Overall: 93 1/4 x 88 1/2" (236.9 x 224.8 cm). Purchased with funds provided by the Committee on Drawings, Richard S. Zeisler Bequest (by exchange), the estate of William S. Lieberman, The Edward John Noble Foundation, Kathy and Richard S. Fuld Jr., Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis, Marlene Hess and Jim Zirin, The Judith Rothschild Foundation, Sally and Wynn Kramarsky, Sharon Percy Rockefeller, and Aaron Fleischman. © 2019 Robert Ryman

Glenn Lowry: In 1976, Ryman discussed his use of white paint in a lecture at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.

Artist, Robert Ryman: It's not really the white I'm interested in. It's neutral and it allows things to exist in a more direct way, than, say, if bright-colored paint were involved. If you put a stroke of red paint on a surface, the red would react very differently with the surface because with the white you would be more conscious of the paint itself I think and the surface, than you would with the red or green or blue. During the process, you discover things that you hadn't thought. You hear it occasionally, that everything's been done in painting. Well, it's not so. There's everything to do in painting. I feel that in a sense painting is just beginning.

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