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Artist Robert Ryman, known for shades of white, dies at 88

In this Oct. 17, 2005 file photo, winners, Yoshio Taniguchi, from left, Japanese architect, Martha Argerich, Argentine pianist, Merce Cunningham, front, American choreographer, Robert Ryman, American artist, and Issey Miyake, Japanese designer, of the 2005 Prince Takamatsu Memorial World Culture Award "the 17th Praemium Imperiale," pose for photographers during a press conference in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Katsumi Kasahara, File)

NEW YORK (AP) -- The artist Robert Ryman, a minimalist known for experimenting with varying shades of white, has died at age 88.

A spokeswoman for Pace Gallery, which represented him, says Ryman died Friday night at his New York City home. No cause was given.

Ryman was born in Nashville, Tennessee and moved to New York City hoping to become a professional jazz saxophonist.

He had no formal education in art but spent seven years as a guard at New York's Museum of Modern Art.

Ryman's best-known works were white-on-white compositions on square canvases. He famously said, "There is never any question of what to paint, only how to paint."

Pace says on its website that it celebrates "the never-ending legacy of his art and its impact on how we see the world."

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