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Robert Ryman’s Untitled, 1962, which is currently on view at the Dia:Beacon in New York, is among the works he is donating to the institution. Photo: Dia:Beacon

Robert Ryman Gifts Twenty-One Works to Dia Art Foundation

American painter Robert Ryman, perhaps best known for making all-white abstract paintings in various sizes over the past six decades, is donating the twenty-one works currently on view at Dia:Beacon, Dia Art Foundation’s upstate New York location, to its permanent collection.

According to Randy Kennedy of the New York Times, the eighty-six-year-old artist’s son said that his father had hoped his works would remain at Beacon, but due to changes in leadership and the loss of a major patron over the course of the last few years, he waited before making his decision to gift the works.

“Ryman is so completely central to Dia’s mission,” Jessica Morgan, the director of the Dia Foundation, said. “This is a culmination of almost thirty years of the foundation’s involvement with his work.”

Since the Swiss contemporary art museum Hallen für Neue Kunst closed in 2014, Dia is the only institution that has a large permanent exhibition of the artist’s works on view. Ryman reinstalled the pieces at Beacon in 2009, arranging them in groupings that emphasize their surfaces and materials.

In the December 2013 issue of Artforum, Suzanne Hudson reviewed the artist’s eleventh show at Pace gallery in New York. She wrote: “Since the beginning of his career, in the 1950s, [Ryman] has pragmatically tested the means of painting, deploying a variety of supports and an equally catholic range of utensils and paints . . . In all of these experiments, Ryman checks action and consequence—which is to say, what one material will do to another: what force it exerts, what response it elicits, what value it suggests, and what aesthetic it submits for consideration. Indeed, such cause-and-effect relationships—between subject and material, material and physical world—are constitutive of Ryman’s project.”

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