Artist of the moment….Will Ryman…

Will Ryman is well known for his very large sized, think public commissions, sculptures of flowers. He was born to a family full of art and artists! His father Robert Ryman, is a well known minimalist artist. His mother, Merrill Wagner, is an artist known for painting monochrome works on steel. His brothers Ethan and Cordy are both artists as well. Must have been a very fun household in which to grow up!

Will Ryman was born in 1969 in New York. He still lives and works out of the city.

Below is a work by Will Rymans father artist Robert Ryman, best known for minimalist works and white on white paintings. Minimalism is best thought of  as expressing an idea or thought using a minimum of lines and basic geometric shapes. Many minimal artists worked with simple grids such as Ryman or Agnes Martin.

The artist’s mother is also an artist. She paints monochromatic works mainly on steel. Below is a great example of her working style.

The artist also was a playwright and screenwriter for twelve years.

A brief clip showing a very large bird project that was made by the artist by forging close to 4,500 nails together.

In this clip see a wonderful rose sculpture that was installed on Park avenue in New York.

Ryman decided to focus solely on sculpture in 2002. First solo exhibition was in 2009.

Some of his most famous works were a large papier mache work titled “The Bed.” This work is included in the Saatchi collection. I love the use of exaggeration and sometimes cartoony feel to this work. Very whimsical and fun piece. The man seems to be totally stressed out. Beer cans and chips are open and ready to be of assistance. Even a cigarette is ready to help the man get through the night. This work is a small piece of performance art as well as a sculpture. You can see how he used his twelve years of set design to develop the piece. Below is the bed.

Sometimes the artist uses recycled materials in his works. In a work titled the New Beginning the artist mixed recycled materials such as bottle caps, crushed cans, and bubble gum wrappers. His rose sculptures have even appeared on the CBS Sunday Morning Show.

I love the Ryman family and place them right up there with other art families like the Gruppes, the Peales, the Wyeths, and the Wiggins. Each of these families had at least three generations of professional painters in their families. Each family even specialized in a certain subject.


Wyeths love realism and tight paintings and drawings. The Peale family was known for still life painting. The Wiggins are known to be great painters of snow laden New York. The Gruppe family is known for painting marine works. The Ryman family is still mainly an abtract family, but with Will leading the way perhaps another Ryman specializing in realism will be next!  I just love the fact EVERYONE in the family does something in the art world! What a great way to live your life!


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