Series#17 (White)


Oil on canvas

61 x 61 cm

Series #17 stands out on the wall as a bright white cloud. The color white applied on a light blue backdrop with which it sometimes merges seems even brighter against the deep black background. In this snowy painting both soft and turbulent, Robert Ryman's main subject is the color white.

Series#17 is part of a 2004 series titled White Paintings. Suzanne P. Hudson sums up Ryman's approach as follows: “Could white be the painting and not its image? Can white paint applied on a dark backdrop arrange a composition without being isolated from its medium?”. As he often does, the painter uses a square format and plays with the medium itself, hence some parts of the canvas nailed to the chassis are painted as well.

Held in the Pinault Collection, this painting was first shown in 2006 at the Where Are We Going? exhibition at Palazzo Grassi, in Venice.