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A young man, new to the city, is hired on as a guard at MOMA. He is there, in the holy of holies, surrounded by the greats. Is he dreaming of a career? Not at all. What intrigues him, I repeat, is just to know, to see, to experiment with what it is to spread paint on canvas. He didn’t want to change the world, he wasn’t looking to “enter the world,” he didn’t even try to represent the world, he just wanted to make and make again this simple gesture: to spread paint onto a surface. Voluntarily reclusive in the most humble, craftsman’s manner, he renews this gesture for fifty years, always astonished by what he discovers under his paintbrush. It’s true that no one has repudiated and summarized two centuries of painting like he has. No one has more radically broken free from his predecessors while still preserving the essence of that mysterious activity which painting is.


THE PARADOXES OF ROBERT RYMAN is a collection of essays about the American abstract painter Robert Ryman by writer and gallerist Jean Frémon, translated from the French by Brian Evenson. This revised and expanded edition includes substantive new material, including additional essays written since the first edition's 2008 release.


About the Author:


Jean Frémon, born in 1946, is a French novelist and the President of Galerie Lelong (Paris and New York). Many of his books are noted for the engaging ways in which they blend history, art criticism, ekphrasis, and fictional narrative. Several of his works have appeared in English translation and other languages. In 1984, he presented a large exhibition of recent paintings by Robert Ryman in Paris.


About the Translator:

Brian Evenson is the author of a dozen and a half books of fiction. His translations include work by Manuela Draeger, Antoine Volodine, Gerard Macé, Jean Frémon, Jacques Jouet,
Claro, Christian Gailly, Jules Romains, and David B. He has
been a finalist for the French-American Foundation Trans-lation Prize three times. He lives in Valencia, CA and teaches at CalArts.


The Paradoxes of Robert Ryman: Expanded by Jean Fremon trans. by Brian Evenson

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