Robert Ryman

Renn Espace d'Art Contemporain

The inaugural show at this new space contains 44 works by Robert Ryman, executed between 1958 and 1991 (some of which are being shown here for the first time). Instead of presenting the paintings chronologically, the show’s curator Urs Raussmüller juxtaposed different formats and dates as he did in the Hallen für neue Kunst in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, where he serves as director. What is immediately striking in this vast, naturally lit space—an environment of concerted but unaffected neutrality—is the restricted polychromy of Ryman’s art, which is all too often relegated to the monochrome genre, with which it ultimately has very little in common.

The divergences between Ryman’s painting and the monochrome are clear: first (and this is particularly apparent in this show), Ryman regularly used pigments besides white in the first decade of his career. In Untitled, 1959, blue is juxtaposed

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