The Artist Birthday Series

Robert Ryman

Today’s Artist Birthday: Robert Ryman

Robert Ryman (born May 30, 1930) is an American painter identified with the movements of monochrome painting, minimalism, and conceptual art. He is best known for abstract, white-on-white paintings.

Robert Ryman, 2007 (from the PBS series "Art In The 21st Century, Season 4)
Robert Ryman, 2007 (from the PBS series “Art In The 21st Century, Season 4)

Ryman was born in Nashville, Tennessee. After studying at the Tennessee Polytechnic Institute, Cookeville, between 1948 and 1949, and at the George Peabody College for Teachers between 1949 and 1950, he enlisted in the United States army reserve corps and was assigned to an army reserve band during the Korean War.

Robert Ryman, c. 1950
Robert Ryman, c. 1950

Ryman moved to New York City in 1953, intending to become a professional jazz saxophonist. He had lessons with pianist Lennie Tristano, which later informed his painting.

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