Robert Ryman - Contemporary Art Evening Sale New York Monday, November 11, 2013 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Eugenia Butler, Los Angeles
    Galerie Di Meo, Paris
    Pace Gallery, New York
    Private Collection, Los Angeles

  • Literature

    To be included in the forthcoming Robert Ryman Catalogue Raisonné as RR.69.028.

  • Catalogue Essay

    There is a mystifying silence in Robert Ryman’s monochromatic compositions; a covered nakedness, just still and there. Playing with an abundance of substance and support, Ryman’s artwork both conceals process, as well as reveals the absolute body of it. While white tonalities are synonymous to the artist, they are not his subject. Rather, they are used as an instrument for optimal impartiality, letting viewers see something as what it is. “I don’t think of myself as making white paintings. I make paintings; I’m a painter. White paint is my medium (Phyllis Tuchman, ‘An Interview with Robert Ryman’, Artforum, May 1971, pg. 46).”

    Ryman's paintings exist as a laboratory for gestural expression; a constant exploration into how paint acts on a surface. “There is never a question of what to paint, but only how to paint. The how of painting has always been the image (Ryman’s statement for Art in Process, Finch College Museum of Art, New York 1969).” Stripped of theoretical subtext and left with white’s cogent physical simplicity, Untitled, Paris, 1969 permits a meditation on its making, letting us see paint, painted. Aligning with much of Ryman’s work, Untitled, Paris, 1969 is universally proportional; a fixed square of composure and balance. This neutrality in both pigment and shape allows for the artist to present his materials in their truest form. At the four corners of the work, Ryman exposes rectangular substratum, each pitted from their dense and reworked mantel. The beige tint of these bare-skinned markers provide a warm edge to the cool, white impasto of the acrylic, clutching and pining down the delicate intricacies of this surface onto a very visible forefront. Through such subtle choices, Ryman gives a very palpable vitality and diverse breadth to this seemingly minimalistic piece. First and finally, he treats the image of the painting as the paint itself.



Untitled (Paris 69)

acrylic on fiberglass laid on panel
12 x 12 in. (30.5 x 30.5 cm.)
Signed, dated and titled "Ryman 69 Paris" on the reverse.

$300,000 - 500,000 

Sold for $425,000

Contact Specialist
Zach Miner
Head of Evening Sale
+1 212 940 1256

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

New York 11 November 2013 7PM