Ryman, Robert Tracy

Ryman, Robert Tracy,

1930–2019, American painter, b. Nashville, Tenn. While working (1953–60) as a guard at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City he was immersed in modern and contemporary works of art and became friends with such fellow workers and future minimalists as Dan FlavinFlavin, Dan
, 1933–96, American sculptor, b. New York City. In the early 1960s, Flavin experimented with fluorescent lights, bending them into complex, angular shapes.
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 and Sol LeWittLeWitt, Sol
, 1928–2007, American artist, b. Hartford, Conn. LeWitt, who came into prominence in the 1960s, termed his work conceptual art, emphasizing that the idea or concept that animates each work is its most important aspect.
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. In the mid-1950s he began to experiment with painting, at first working with color. He soon turned to the austere, largely monochromatic work to which he devoted his artistic career: square, most often white-on-white paintings, differentiated by their various shades, surface textures, and types of paint, by the materials the paint is applied to, such as canvas, wood, fiberglass, aluminum, cardboard, copper, or steel, by their sizes, and by how they are affixed to the wall.

Bibliography

See museum catalog by V. Sretenović (2010); study by S. P. Hudson (2009).