February 10–March 26, 2022
David Zwirner is pleased to present Robert Ryman: The Last Paintings, on view at the gallery’s 69th Street location. This will be the gallery’s first exhibition of the artist’s work since announcing exclusive global representation of the Estate of Robert Ryman. The exhibition will feature a group of works Ryman created in 2010 and 2011, the last paintings that he would produce before his death in 2019.
The eight intimately scaled square works on view in this exhibition stand as the culmination of many of the artistic interests and impulses that guided Ryman throughout his career. In these paintings, expanses of densely worked white, cream, and subtly muted tones of pale green and taupe widen and narrow at the edges of the support to reveal canvases primed in bold matte veils of vivid color. While Ryman often exposed the untreated canvas or ground in many of his works, the colors revealed beneath the loose squares and rhombus-like shapes of variegated whites in these compositions are the most pronounced to ever appear in his practice, harkening back to color elements in some of his earliest, most significant paintings from the 1950s and early 1960s. The burnt orange ground in several of these canvases directly recalls the color of Untitled (Orange Painting) (1955 and 1959; promised gift to The Museum of Modern Art, New York), Ryman’s first mature painting.
May 24, 2021 – David Zwirner is pleased to announce exclusive global representation of the Estate of Robert Ryman and of American artist Merrill Wagner. Ryman and Wagner were married in 1969, until Ryman’s death in 2019.
David Zwirner has stated, “I am thrilled to be working with Ethan, Will, and Cordy Ryman to promote their father’s legacy. Ryman, to me, is a singular artist, among the most important of his generation. I am looking forward to presenting his work in the context of our program. His work is in deep dialogue with many of the gallery’s artists, from Josef Albers and Giorgio Morandi to his peers Donald Judd, On Kawara, Fred Sandback, and Richard Serra. The work of Merrill Wagner equally situates itself within our program, in its nuanced attention to color, materials, to site and temporality, and I am especially honored to be working with her.”
American artist Robert Ryman (1930–2019) is widely celebrated for his tactile monochromatic works, which he executed using a range of painterly media on various supports, including paper, canvas, linen, aluminum, vinyl, and newsprint. Emerging in the 1960s, Ryman eschewed self-contained representational and abstract imagery, instead giving precedence to the physical gesture of applying paint to a support. Unlike many of the artists and movements with which he is often associated, such as abstract expressionism and minimalism (labels to which he never subscribed), Ryman neither reveled in the emotive qualities of gesturalism nor sought to eradicate the painterly mark; rather, his works are novel and sensitive explorations of the visual, material, and experiential qualities of his media that exist in a dialogue with their surroundings. His lifelong commitment to working in shades of white and off-white served as a means of enhancing the specific and the mutable in the experience of his art, calling further attention to the nuances that distinguished one composition from another, and also drawing associations to conceptual art practices. As Roberta Smith has noted, “his art transcended labels by being expansive, intuitive, and richly reflective of the world, largely through its encyclopedic use of available materials.”
Since the 1960s, American artist Merrill Wagner (b. 1935) has created a distinctive body of work that is characterized by its expansive approach to abstraction and to painting. In its emphasis on the materiality and mutability of paint, her inventive work elides the categories of painting, relief, sculpture, and installation. Emerging at a time when minimalism and post-minimalism had superseded abstract expressionism as the dominant aesthetic idioms, Wagner both eschewed and embraced their primary concerns, creating rigorous, hard-edged abstract compositions that subtly referenced landscape. By the mid-1970s, influenced in part by Eva Hesse’s unconventional approach to materials, Wagner abandoned canvas and looked to nontraditional supports such as slate, steel, and stone as surfaces for color. These surfaces interested Wagner not only because of their textural appearance, but also because of their allusions to the natural world, resonant with her upbringing in the Pacific Northwest, and their inherent connection to process and chance. By integrating the support within the compositional logic of her works, ordering and joining fragments by adding exquisitely considered painted elements, at first in geometric formations and later in colorful, allover compositions, Wagner poetically mediates between the natural and the constructed. Extending her interest in process and the transformational effects of time, Wagner has also created a number of outdoor, site-specific interventions on unassuming locations, such as fences and rock outcroppings, left unprotected from the elements to fade over time.
Image: Robert Ryman, Winsor 34, 1966 (detail)
Robert Ryman included in Celebratory Exhibition, Go Back To The Future / Revenir vers le futur
April 25, 2020
April 25, 2020–April 04, 2021
To inaugurate a series of events in celebration of the art center’s 30th anniversary, EAC is delighted to take part in a “collection swap” with the esteemed Lambert collection, which is celebrating its own 20th anniversary. The exhibition, Revenir vers le fxutur (Go back to the future), will take place in the Albers-Honegger Donation gallery space, whose own collection will find its temporary home in the Hôtel de Caumont in Avignon, Lambert Collection gallery.
There is a unique symbiosis between the Albers-Honegger Donation and the Lambert Donation. Original and very often eluding historical and aesthetic classification, both collections cross-reference different interpretations of contemporary art history. Untrammeled by convention, each collection nevertheless draws accolades for its coherency. Additionally, both collections, endowed with 700 and 556 works respectively, were set up through private initiative. Gottfried Honegger and Sybil Albers-Barrier in Mouans-Sartoux and Yvon Lambert in Avignon put their collections into public municipal buildings over several decades (the Mouans-Sartoux Château and Hôtel de Caumont in Avignon) before deciding to donate their artworks to the French nation. Both collections are today listed with the National Foundation for Contemporary Art (FNAC), a French State public collection managed by the National Centre for Visual Arts (CNAP).
Artists: John Armleder, Carl Andre, Bernard Aubertin, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Larry Bell, Max Bill, Marcel Breuer, Daniel Buren, Robert Combas, Dadamaino, Jan Dibbets, EMMANUEL, Fritz Glarner, Douglas Gordon, Gottfried Honegger, Donald Judd, Bertrand Lavier, Sol LeWitt, Robert Mangold, Olivier Mosset, François Morellet, Aurélie Nemours, Jean-Pierre Raynaud, Gerrit Thomas Rietveld, Robert Ryman, Richard Serra, Andres Serrano, Cédric Teisseire, Niele Toroni, Günther Uecker, Bernar Venet
Robert Ryman Featured in the Caixa Collection’s Painting: A Permanent Challenge
June 27–September 29, 2019
The exhibition, La Pintura, Un reto permanente (Painting: A Permanent Challenge), brings together an important selection of works from the ”la Caixa” Collection of Contemporary Art that examines the concept of painting and its ability to reinvent itself.
At the beginning of the 20th century, painting abandoned its referential function and entered the realm of ideas. No longer a window onto the world, it became an intellectual representation that constituted an autonomous visual reality. From this moment on, painting has triggered important debates, become a source of inspiration and confrontation, and marked a starting point for numerous contemporary artistic trends.
This exhibition explores painting as a mental process, an abstract idea that expands from the canvas to other media such as photography, sculpture, printmaking, or installation. The idea of the pictorial, incorporating a changed understanding of painting, reflects the interstices between the intellectual concept and the sensuality of the material. Painting: A Permanent Challenge brings together works by artists who renewed painting in the 1960s and 1970s and those of a younger generation who have pushed the boundaries of this discipline, reinventing new production and presentation formulas.
The exhibition features more than forty works, including those by Robert Ryman, Sigmar Polke, Gerhard Richter, Wolfgang Tillmans, Robert Mangold, Ignasi Aballí, Ángela de la Cruz, Ruben Guerrero, Günther Förg, Jessica Stockholder, Juan Uslé, and Richard Tuttle.
Robert Ryman Featured in From Gesture to Form. Postwar European and American Art from the Schulhof Collection
January 26–March 18, 2019
In 2012, Hannelore B. Schulhof (1922–2012), who collected with her late husband Rudolph R. Schulhof (1912–1999), bequeathed eighty works of postwar European and American art to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation to be housed at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice. This exhibition is an opportunity to view the Schulhof Collection nearly in its entirety. Privileging formal artistic developments, this presentation provides insights into the art movements and styles that evolved and matured towards the end of World War II through to the 1980s. Abstract imagery, as a quest into issues of color, form, and space as well as their interrelationships, characterized the postwar decades, becoming the foundation of the Schulhof Collection.
The display reflects this overarching abstract crescendo of minimalism and refinement, opening with works by artists such as Afro Basaldella, Alberto Burri, Willem de Kooning, Lucio Fontana, Hans Hofmann, Joan Mitchell, Mark Rothko, and Cy Twombly, proceeding with those by Eduardo Chillida, Jean Dubuffet, Hans Hartung, Anselm Kiefer, Agnes Martin, and eventually arriving at the paintings and sculptures by Donald Judd, Ellsworth Kelly, Kenneth Noland, Robert Ryman, Frank Stella, and Andy Warhol, among others. The works are grouped and arranged according to style, theme, and affinity, exploring notions that include but are not limited to gestural abstraction, materiality, the monochrome, the mark and the grid, hard-edged geometries, and elemental form. This exhibition celebrates how, crossing continents and traversing cultures, the Schulhof Collection reflects a multitude of postwar artistic tendencies and a polyphony of voices. Living artists from both sides of the North Atlantic were the focus of these collectors, in the words of Mrs. Schulhof, with “equal commitment, throughout” (letter to James Wilder Green, Director, The American Federation of Arts, New York, April 26, 1984, The Schulhof Collection Archives, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, Venice).
Nov 11, 2017–May 5, 2019
Innovation in art is often characterized as a singular event—a bolt of lightning that strikes once and forever changes what follows. The Long Run provides another view: by chronicling the continued experimentation of artists long after their breakthrough moments, it suggests that invention results from sustained critical thinking, persistent observation, and countless hours in the studio. Each work in this presentation exemplifies an artist’s distinct evolution. For some, this results from continually testing the boundaries of a given medium, for others it reflects the pressures of social, economic, and political circumstances. Often, it is a combination of both.
The latest iteration of The Long Run includes monographic galleries and rooms that bring together artists across a broad range of backgrounds and approaches. All the artists in this presentation—drawn entirely from MoMA’s collection—are united by a ceaseless desire to make meaningful work, year after year, across decades. They include Robert Ryman, Louise Bourgeois, Fischli/Weiss, Isa Genzken, Philip Guston, David Hammons, Joan Jonas, On Kawara, Agnes Martin, Joan Mitchell, Gerhard Richter, and many others.
June 19–August 28, 2016
Organized by P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center founder, Alanna Heiss, FORTY features work by over forty artists who were key participants in the 1970s alternative art spaces movement and the early years of P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center. In 1976, Alanna Heiss founded P.S.1 as the latest venture in a series of pioneering projects organized through her non-profit organization, the Institute for Art and Urban Resources, which included the Clocktower Gallery in lower Manhattan and other disused spaces across New York City. With both the intellectual and physical room to experiment, nearly 80 artists created work for P.S.1’s inaugural 1976 show, Rooms, which has since become a landmark in the art history of 1970s New York. The artists used classrooms, stairwells, windows, closets, bathrooms, the boiler room, courtyard, and attic—often engaging directly with the existing architecture. Rooms catalyzed changes in the forms and methods of making art and expanded ideas about how it could be shown.
Four decades later, FORTY revisits the work of many of the artists who participated in the inaugural exhibition, in some cases featuring works shown in Rooms. Presented across the museum’s second-floor galleries, FORTY revisits the radical vision and experimental spirit that characterized P.S.1's early years.
FORTY features work by Cecile Abish, Laurie Anderson, Carl Andre, Richard Artschwager, John Baldessari, Jennifer Bartlett, Lynda Benglis, James Bishop, Daniel Buren, Colette, Ron Gorchov, Dan Graham, Robert Grosvenor, Marcia Hafif, David Hammons, Jene Highstein, Nancy Holt, Bill Jensen, Richard “Dickie” Landry, Barry Le Va, Sol LeWitt, Gordon Matta-Clark, John McCracken, Mary Miss, Max Neuhaus, Richard Nonas, Brian O’Doherty, Dennis Oppenheim, Nam June Paik, Howardena Pindell, Robert Ryman, Alan Saret, Joel Shapiro, Judith Shea, Charles Simonds, Keith Sonnier, Pat Steir, Michelle Stuart, Lawrence Weiner, Doug Wheeler, Jackie Winsor, and Robert Yasuda
December 9, 2015–July 30, 2016
This comprehensive exhibition brings together six decades of Robert Ryman’s vital paintings, ranging in date from the 1950s through the 2000s. Since the 1950s, Ryman’s works have been both readily identified and identifiable by their achromatic surfaces. Viewers see and experience these painted frequencies of light as the color white, but Ryman’s radical exploration of the tonal values, light reflections, and spatial effects of white were never limited to paint. Very early on his experimentations with canvas, board, and paper expanded to include aluminum, fiberglass, and Plexiglas, before evolving into a material vocabulary that is as revolutionary as his use of various white hues. As such, Ryman’s works are often discussed in relation to abstract expressionism as well as minimalism and postminimalism.
The exhibition will travel to Mexico City where it will be presented at Museo Jumex from March 4 to April 30, 2017.