A jazz musician before he was an artist, Ryman, who has died aged 88, made soft, quiet paintings that were like barely begun solos
One afternoon at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, I walked into a room of paintings by Robert Ryman. Ryman’s white paintings hung on white walls under white lights, and there was almost too much daylight coming in. The guards at the museum wandered about wearing corporate bright red jackets and whenever I caught sight of one as I approached Ryman’s delicate white paintings, the brightness of the clothing would catch my eye and leave intrusive turquoise after-images hanging in the air between me and the art on the wall.
Robert Ryman: the master of white who took painting apart