Robert Ryman, 1930–2019

Robert Ryman, Untitled # 1004, 1960-61. Courtesy Robert Ryman Archive, New York

The American painter Robert Ryman has died aged 88. Best known for his early white paintings on canvas, part of a body of work created over six decades which later included the use of other materials like Plexiglass, wood and aluminium, Ryman first began painting while he worked as a guard at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His first work was bought during a staff exhibition held at the museum in 1958 and in 1964, Ryman participated in a group exhibition organised by Dan Flavin (who, along with Sol LeWitt, was also an employee of MoMA during the 1950s). The success of his work across the US and Europe was celebrated in 1993 when Tate Gallery and MoMa jointly presented a Ryman retrospective of more than 75 works. The exhibition later travelled to Reina Sofia in Madrid, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis.

12 February 2019