Robert Ryman

Untitled, Bruxelles (1974)

About this artwork

Ryman is concerned with how a painting is created rather than what it represents. Always using white or off-white paint, he varies the type of support, brush and fixtures from work to work. Here, he applied white emulsion over black vinyl that he had adhered to the front of ten pieces of board. Pieces of tape were then pulled away from the surface of each at four points to reveal a small square of vinyl. This work was made for an exhibition at the Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels in 1974, and is one of three multi-part works made at that time.

  • title: Untitled, Bruxelles
  • accession number: AR00343
  • artist: Robert RymanAmerican (born 1930)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: Abstract
  • date created: 1974
  • measurements: 53.60 x 53.60 cm
  • credit line: ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
  • copyright: © Robert Ryman
This artwork is part of Artist Rooms

Robert Ryman

Robert Ryman

Robert Ryman is known as the painter of white paintings. One of the most notable abstract artists of his generation, he emerged in the late 1960s in the wake of Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art. Born in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1952 he moved New York to study jazz. However, in 1961 he began to paint full-time following seven years first hand ‘art training’ as a gallery attendant at the Museum of Modern Art. Ryman’s central concern is the act of painting - “there is never any question of what to paint only how to paint”. His palette was quickly limited to white and he reduced his work to a minimum, exploring scale and surface texture. This led to associations with Minimalism. From 1976 he began to include metal fastenings in his work, which serve both a visual and a practical role.