Friday, 14 July 2017

Meeting Robert Ryman

Excerpt from my memoir:
Robert Ryman

"Ryman was very unassuming, with a quiet authority. He introduced himself as Bob, shaking me by the hand as he entered my studio. He wore a suit and a pair of very cool spectacles. He was kindly and extremely modest and wanted each student to do their best whether their work was to his taste or not.

In his crit with me, Ryman talked about the value of looking at paintings in different lights (both natural and artificial) and how the interior light in a painting is very important - think how Rothko's paintings have light of their own.

Immediately upon entering my studio, Ryman asked me to turn off the spotlights so we could view my work in natural light. He observed that I already knew how to use horizontals and verticals in my compositions, and commented that he thought I would do well in New York.

He laughed when I told him one of my paintings was called 'Creep' and said I shouldn't give emotional titles to unemotional paintings. That is something I have tried never to do again."

Excerpt from 'Art, Life and Everything' (unpublished memoir) by Julie Umerle, edited by Anna McNay.

To read further excerpts from my memoir, please see:

Copyright © Julie Umerle

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