PRINT September 2002


Last spring at Larry Becker Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, Robert Ryman realized the third incarnation of his Prototype paintings, multipanel works that the artist executes in situ on the gallery walls. JEFFREY WEISS, curator of modern and contemporary art at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, examines this latest permutation in Ryman’s ongoing exploration of his medium.

PAUL VALÉRY WAS INTRODUCED TO Stéphane Mallarmé’s “Un Coup de dés” by Mallarmé himself in 1897, shortly after the poem had been completed. In his memoir of this first encounter with what he perceived to be a stupefying masterpiece, Valéry described Mallarmé’s manner of reading “in a low even voice, without the least ‘effect’ and almost to himself,” representing a complete “absence of artifice.” This struck him. “The human voice seems to me so lovely in itself taken as nearly as possible to its source,”

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