Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy - Untitled Drawing

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Image of Untitled Drawing

Robert Ryman , (May 30, 1930–Feb 8, 2019)

Untitled Drawing

49 5/8 in. x 49 5/8 in. (126.05 cm x 126.05 cm)

Medium and Support: Pastel and graphite on Plexiglas panel with 4 black oxide steel fasteners, plates, bolts
Credit Line: Gift of Carl Andre (PA 1953)
Accession Number: 1982.22


Reaching artistic maturity as a painter in the early 1960s, when Minimalism was becoming a dominant mode of expression among American artists, Robert Ryman claimed subtly contrasting shades of white as his signature visual vocabulary: “white paint is my medium.” Like many of his predecessors and contemporaries, Ryman saw the absence of color and representational references to the physical world as a way of heightening the viewer’s perception of minute variations between the white tones of the linen or cotton support, the occasional layer of warm creamy yellow priming, and the white pigments used in his paintings. The untitled drawing on Plexiglas is one in a series of four he made with white pastel and graphite for the landmark 1976 MoMA exhibition <i>Drawing Now: 1955-1975</i>. In his printmaking practice, Ryman sought to further explore the possibilities of subtle variation in form and color; in printing <i>Six Aquatints</i> on ivory paper, he employed two kinds of white pigment—Titanium White and White Lead—either individually or in combination, thus achieving a range of slightly contrasting tonalities.

Kelley Tialiou
Charles H. Sawyer Curatorial Assistant | Librarian | Archivist

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