Robert Ryman. Attendant. 1984

Robert Ryman Attendant 1984

  • Not on view

By reducing painting to the bare minimum—a square, the color white, and metal fastenings—Ryman increases our attention to subtle variation. The work is hung high on the wall so its edge rather than its center is the focus of our gaze, and the conjunction of distinct surfaces—painted aluminum bracket, smoothly rendered fiberglass support, and unpainted aluminum bracket—is accentuated. The visible fastenings at top and bottom expose the typically hidden apparatus that holds the work to the wall. Ryman is much more interested in what he calls the "how" of painting, the physical object itself, than the "what" of painting, "the image, the story, the symbolism" that convey meaning outside the work.

Gallery label from What is Painting? Contemporary Art from the Collection, July 7–September 17, 2007.
Oil on fiberglass with aluminum, bolts and screws
51 7/8 x 47 x 2 1/8" (131.8 x 119.4 x 5.4 cm)
Anne and Sid Bass Fund
Object number
© 2021 Robert Ryman
Painting and Sculpture

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