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© Estate of Robert Ryman / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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Robert Ryman

American, 1930-2019

State, 1978

oil on cotton with four painted metal fasteners and metal bolts

support: 84 x 84 inches (213.36 x 213.36 cm); overall (with fasteners): 88 1/4 x 84 inches (224.16 x 213.36 cm)

Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York

George B. and Jenny R. Mathews Fund, 1979


Collection Highlight

More Details


signature, dated / back, center / RYMAN 78
inscription / back, center / TOP, STATE


the artist;
to Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, 1978;
sold to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, February 16, 1979



Work Type

Oil painting

This information may change due to ongoing research. Glossary of Terms

In his series of white paintings, artist Robert Ryman attempted to purge outside references from his work and express a sense of the absolute. While for a period of time in his career he limited himself to only the color white, he underplayed the importance of such an extreme absence of color. He instead focused on the fundamental properties of his materials and chose to expose the “other” elements of painting, such as the physicality of the paint and supporting elements and the process of how the two come together. His investigation of these elements is methodical, yet he allows space in the works to respond to the unpredictable nature of the interaction between paint and support. Although completely monochromatic, State offers subtle insight into the painterly process. Ryman’s white paintings unlocked a door for other artists to explore painting, as well as sculpture, in a way that had been unfulfilled in the past. 

Object label from REMIX The Collection, November 10, 2006–November 25, 2007

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