Dia Art Foundation Receives Historic Gift from Robert Ryman and The Greenwich Collection, Ltd.

April 13, 2017

Dia Art Foundation Receives Historic Gift from Robert Ryman and The Greenwich Collection, Ltd.

New York – Dia Art Foundation announced today an unprecedented gift of twenty-one works from Robert Ryman, artist and member of Dia’s Board of Trustees since 2009, and The Greenwich Collection, Ltd., a nonprofit foundation. The gift includes some of Ryman’s early experiments with his characteristic square format such as The Paradoxical Absolute (1958) and reduced palette such as Untitled (1959). It also includes key works and series from the 1960s to the 2000s, which reveal the artist’s exploration of tonal values, luminescence, and the spatial effects of white. 

“We are incredibly grateful to Robert Ryman and The Greenwich Collection, Ltd., for this extraordinary gift. It is a testament to Dia’s ongoing relationship with the artist, which began in the late 1980s and continues to this day,” said Jessica Morgan, Director, Dia Art Foundation. “Ryman is one of the most prominent artists from the generation of Minimalists and Postminimalists and his remarkable experimentation in painting over six decades is without parallel. This truly irreplaceable group of paintings represents an invaluable addition to our collection. We are honored to be the guardian of these paintings, ensuring that these works are available, in an installation produced by the artist, to new generations of artists and visitors for years to come.” 

Ryman was one of the first artists to whom Dia dedicated a long-term inquiry and over the subsequent years he has become a central figure for Dia’s program. From October 1988 to June 1989, Dia presented an installation of Ryman’s paintings in natural light on the top floor of the former Dia Center for the Arts building at 548 West 22nd Street. Ryman’s display at Dia:Beacon began when his works were first installed in 2003 and then reconfigured by the artist in 2009. Utilizing the natural light in the museum’s industrial-scale galleries to illuminate the cohesive body of work, the presentation includes the twenty-one donated works as well as Vector (1975/1996–97), which is already in Dia’s collection. This group of twenty-two works represents the full spectrum of Ryman’s output—beginning with early small-scale paintings and drawings on canvas from the 1950s and 1960s and moving to large-scale three-dimensional paintings and works employing bolts and fasteners in the 1970s and 1980s. Chronologically as well as materially expansive, the installation at Dia:Beacon allows for viewers to experience a comprehensive narrative of Ryman’s innovative practice through the diversity of works on view. 

In 2015–16 Dia presented a survey exhibition of Ryman’s works at Dia:Chelsea, bringing together numerous decades of the artist’s vital paintings and reaching across his wide-ranging oeuvre. Linking Dia:Chelsea and Dia:Beacon, visitors at both sites were able to thoroughly consider Ryman’s practice and expansive use of time and space within painting. As in his prior presentations at Dia, the space provided natural light to highlight the many ways in which light is visible in his paintings. This exhibition, Robert Ryman, is currently on view at Museo Jumex in Mexico City through April 30, 2017.

The gifts from The Greenwich Collection, Ltd., include: Untitled (1959); Untitled (1960); Untitled (c. 1962); Stretched Drawing [2 x 2 grid] (c. 1963); Stretched Drawing [Square] (c. 1963); Stretched Drawing [5 x 5 grid] (1963); Untitled (1965); Untitled (c. 1965–66); Untitled, Delta (c. 1965–66); Medway (c. 1968); Varese Wall (1975); Tower I (1976); Tower II (1976); Phoenix (1979); Measure (1987); Transfer (1987); Consort (1988); Cord (1994); Place IV (1998); and Third Prototype, Dia:Beacon, Wall Installation (2003). The gift from Ryman includes The Paradoxical Absolute (1958). 

Dia Publishes New Book of Scholarship on Ryman
In 2016 Dia organized a two-part symposium on Ryman’s work. The public events gathered noted artists, critics, and scholars engaged with Ryman’s practice in Beacon and New York City. A new publication includes essays continuing ideas shared during the symposia as well as newly commissioned texts. Contributors include Sandra Amann, Jo Applin, Charles Gaines, Gary Garrels, Suzanne Hudson, Philipp Kaiser, Lucy R. Lippard, Courtney J. Martin, Robert Storr, Kirsten Swenson, and John Szwed. The essays in the volume are illustrated with new reproductions of the works from both the exhibition at Dia:Chelsea and installation at Dia:Beacon. 

Book Launch
Saturday, April 29, 2017, 2:30 pm

A conversation with two of Robert Ryman’s sons, Cordy and Ethan Ryman, and Dia deputy director and chief curator, Courtney J. Martin, occurs on the occasion of the Robert Ryman book launch.

3 Beekman Street
Beacon, NY 12508 

Dia Art Foundation
Founded in 1974, Dia Art Foundation is committed to initiating, supporting, presenting, and preserving extraordinary art projects. Dia:Beacon opened in May 2003 in Beacon, New York. Dia also maintains several long-term sites, including Walter De Maria’s The New York Earth Room (1977) and The Broken Kilometer (1979), Max Neuhaus’s Times Square (1977), and Joseph Beuys’s 7000 Eichen (7000 Oaks, which was inaugurated at Documenta 7 in 1982), all of which are located in New York City; the Dan Flavin Art Institute (established in 1983) in Bridgehampton, New York; De Maria’s The Lightning Field (1977) in western New Mexico; Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty (1970) in Great Salt Lake, Utah; and De Maria’s The Vertical Earth Kilometer (1977) in Kassel, Germany.

Dia presents temporary exhibitions and installations, performances, lectures, and readings on West 22nd Street in New York City.

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For additional information or materials, contact: Press Department, Dia Art Foundation, press@diaart.org or 212 293 5518

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