Saturday, May 12th 2012
Robert Ryman, Archive, 1980
Regarding this…I don’t like the “I could have done that” argument, I find it has very little merit in regard to the worth of a piece, besides this, here is what I have to say about Robert Ryman and in turn, a lot of minimalist artists out there, it’s not for everyone. And on that point, nothing is for everyone, not one piece of clothing, one game, one TV show, one movie, one type of flower, one color, one city, one haircut etc, etc. You don’t have to like everything, no one is twisting your arm about it.
I worked at a gallery that had a (IMO) brilliant Carl Andre opening and the crowd was split in thirds: 1/3 hated it and left immediately (very vocal), 1/3 hated the people who hated it (also vocal), and 1/3 enjoyed it without hating on anyone.
To me Robert Ryman was looking for ways to convey meanings using a different method of painting and used materials in a way that is often viewed as nontraditional. I find this piece to be meditative and his methods to be one of a purposeful and controlled chaos. It’s really beautiful to me.
I also find it interesting that people can get so violently angry against minimalist art in a way they don’t against even abstract expressionism, pop or whatever contemporary thing is happening at Peres Projects. I feel like it must be some resentment that builds to the piece not engaging or reflecting one’s disgusted or dissatisfied mental state when being confronted with it.
Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.
I have never read the argument for minimalist art put so perfectly.
I’d like to highlight the ‘you don’t have to like everything’ part of it. Because you don’t have to like everything. And you don’t have to tell everyone what you hate. There’s enough negativity in the world with you adding to it.
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