Robert Ryman
Works on Paper 1957-1964

May 20 – September 25, 2004
at Peter Blum SoHo

Peter Blum is pleased to announce the exhibition, Robert Ryman Works on Paper 1957 - 1964.

The occasion of this exhibition marks the first time a show has been dedicated exclusively to the works on paper by Robert Ryman.

Born in Nashville Tennessee, Robert Ryman moved to New York in 1952. At that time he was a jazz musician and composer for the saxophone. He was for the first time exposed to painting and a year later he bought some rudimentary art supplies and started "experimenting." By 1954 Ryman made the difficult decision to put away his saxophone and to dedicate himself to color, composition, format and the application of paint. By 1957 he began to feel that he had produced something that had moved beyond experimenting.

Many of the works in this exhibition record the time when Ryman, then in his early twenties, was formulating his disciplined approach. On off-white and translucent papers including wall paper, a circular coffee filter, newsprint and mylar, Ryman draws, tools, brushes and presses his marks, using a flat table to support the work. The variety of mediums within a single piece creates texts and subtexts as, for instance, paint is pressed down across the surface and lines are incised into the paint. His decision to use the square as the correct format for non narrative work had been set, and while he still used color, he subsequently made the decision to use predominantly white in his process of eliminating all that was superfluous to a painting.

On the occasion of this exhibition the book, Robert Ryman Works on Paper 1957 - 1964, will be published by Peter Blum Edition. The publication contains 31 color illustrations, printed in an edition of 2000, 72 pages, hardcover.