Indeed, like Mondrian and Malevich before him, Mr. Ryman called himself a realist. More commonly he was known as a Minimalist. He was also grouped with the Post-Minimalist tendencies of Conceptual and Process art.

But his art transcended labels by being expansive, intuitive and richly reflective of the world, largely through its encyclopedic use of available materials. He painted with oil, acrylic, casein, gouache, gesso, rabbit-skin glue, enamel, baked enamel, enamelac, varathane, vinyl polymer, pastel, varnish, ballpoint pen and India ink. He painted on linen, cotton duck, wood, aluminum, copper, vinyl, Plexiglas, fiberglass, Gator board, steel, cold-rolled steel, Lumasite, wax paper, Bristol board, tracing paper, cardboard, newsprint, gauze, hollow-core panels and Chemex coffee-filter paper.

He attached these works to the wall with exposed nails, masking tape, screws, bolts, brackets, clips, plastic straps, pressure plates or small cubes of wood.

He often took his titles from the brand names of his materials or their place of purchase. “Winsor” came from Winsor-Newton Paints, “Acme” from a hardware store, “General” from a lumber yard.