Robert Ryman


An affordable introduction to the American abstractionist whose ingenious use of white allowed “other things to become visible”


ISBN: 9782330133313 Category:


The second volume of the Lambert Collection Icons series collects some of the finest works by one of America’s foremost abstract painters, and narrates the creation of his paintings from compositional elements to their “activation” in exhibition spaces.

Robert Ryman (1930-2019) was a giant of minimalist painting. He settled in New York in 1952, initially aspiring to a career as a jazz musician. Alone he discovered art, visiting the city’s myriad museums and galleries, and taught himself to paint. In a career spanning 60 years, Ryman relentlessly pared down the essentials of painting and its emotional possibilities.

Stroke by stroke, line by line, work by work, Robert Ryman tells the story of the creation of his paintings in its totality from the elements within them to their activation in exhibition spaces or in works – “It was never an intention of mine to make white paintings,” he told Art News magazine in 1986. “The white is just a means of exposing other elements. White enables other things to become visible.” – Robert Ryman

Additional information

Weight 220 g
Dimensions 17.1 x 24.4 cm
Publisher name Actes Sud
Publication date 1 February 2021
Number of pages 64
Format Paperback / softback
Contributors Preface by Stéphane Ibars
Dimensions 17.1 x 24.4 cm
Weight 220 g


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Robert Ryman was one of the main figures of minimalist painting. He taught himself to paint. In 1953, he took up employment as a museum guard at the Museum of Modern Art, like other artists of his generation - Sol LeWitt, Robert Mangold, Dan Flavin, and the art critic Lucy Lippard - all driven by a deep desire to revolutionize art. In the rooms of the MoMA, he immersed himself in the beautiful, radical works of the great modernists: Malevitch, Rothko, Mondrian, and Matisse above all. In a career spanning 60 years, Robert Ryman relentlessly sought out the very essence of painting and the emotion he felt in contact with it. The Collection Lambert in Avignon was founded in 2000 by Yvon Lambert, seeking to open his personal collection of contemporary art to the public, within the walls of the city mansion known as the Hôtel de Caumont. This collection of contemporary art reflects the major movements in the art of our times: Minimal art, Conceptual art, Land art, painting from the 1980's, video and photography from the 1990's.The collection holds works from great artists such as: Cy Twombly, Sol LeWitt, Donald Judd, Niele Toroni,Jean-Michel Basquiat, Anselm Kiefer, Christian Boltanski, Nan Goldin,Douglas Gordon and Jenny Holzer.