Next month in New York, Pace Gallery will present the first comprehensive survey of drawings by Robert Ryman, with works on paper as well as less conventional materials from over the course of his decades-long career. Canvas, aluminum, coffee filters, and Mylar are among the repositories for drawings made with tools including pencil, graphite, and crayon, and many of the works will be on public view for the first time.
“I had wanted to do this show for a long time because people confuse, with him particularly, what are drawings and what are paintings,” said Pace Gallery president Susan Dunne, who has worked closely with Ryman for 28 years. “I wanted to show the range of experimentation and materiality with the drawings. It’s not a drawing because it’s on paper—there are plenty of paintings that Bob made on paper and plenty of drawings not on paper.”
The 51 works in “Robert Ryman: Drawings”—at Pace’s Chelsea gallery on West 25th Street from February 23 through March 24—date from the early 1960s through 2000 and include loans from the Museum of Modern Art, the Dia Art Foundation, and the Art Institute of Chicago. More than half will be on show for the first time, and the exhibition follows a triumphant exhibition of Ryman’s paintings just a few blocks away at Dia:Chelsea that concluded a six-month run in the summer of 2016.
“While they’re not studies and not related specifically, they are related,” Dunne told ARTnews of Ryman’s different ways of working. “He’s experimenting with similar materials in painting that he is with drawing. The drawings are much more about the line, but they’re still the sum of different components that Bob uses to construct a painting or a drawing.”