The Orangerie museum presents Robert Ryman, the act of Looking

The Orangerie museum presents Robert Ryman, the act of Looking

The exhibition 'Robert Ryman: The Act of Looking' at the Orangerie Museum represents the first major retrospective dedicated to the American artist since 1981 in a French public institution, underscoring, five years after his passing, the historical significance of this artist.

Often associated with the American minimalist movement, with which it is often in dialogue in museums, Ryman's unique approach deserves to be considered today for itself and by itself. The Orangerie Museum, home to Claude Monet's masterpiece, the Water Lilies, proves to be the perfect place for this re-examination.

Ryman, who rejected the notion of influence or the idea of exhibiting in dialogue with another artist, nevertheless inscribes himself in the history of painting by questioning every aspect and foundation. Like Monet before him, he concentrates his research, almost obsessively, on the specificities of his medium, questioning notions of surface, the limits of the work, the space in which it integrates, the light with which it plays, and the duration in which it unfolds.

It is around these simple notions - surface, limit, space, light, duration - that the exhibition is articulated. These are fundamental elements of painting that Ryman exhaustively explores to better reveal their interaction with each other. It is through the gaze that the painter casts upon them, an active gaze, that the painting thus reduced to its essence takes on its full meaning. We hope, through this exhibition, to address a crucial aspect of Ryman's approach: to show painting in its simplest form, to reveal it through the light and space in which it is inscribed, just as essential to the work as its physical components (medium, support, attachment...).

Often assimilated with minimalist and abstract currents, Robert Ryman is a complex, passionate, and surprising painter. At first glance, his works can be perplexing: few colors or distinct shapes, monumental canvases, visible brushstrokes... The Orangerie Museum aims to unveil the secrets of this renowned American artist, who is far more innovative than he appears.

'The Act of Looking' is a landmark retrospective bringing together numerous paintings, offering an overview of the painter's career and unique artistic approach. Indeed, Robert Ryman was an original artist, setting himself apart from the traditional art world: he did not seek to create illusion or meaning in his paintings, he refused to name them, and he did not wish to be exhibited in dialogue with another artist.

The American artist was interested in technique, medium, and the various supports and materials at his disposal. Each brushstroke was for him a thorough study of the material. Gouache, watercolor, acrylic, engraving, lithography: the artist experimented with numerous techniques to discover their specificities.

This singular artist appreciated painting in its simplest definition, art in its rawest, purest state. A passionate approach, to which the Orangerie Museum pays tribute by offering an exhibition that meets Ryman's criteria of value. A curiosity to discover without further delay!

Until July 1, 2024. Open every day except Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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