Ad Reinhardt was one of the most significant American artists of the twentieth century. He was also one of the few artists of the Abstract Expressionist generation to have painted abstractions from the start. “To him abstraction was not a genre or style,” New York Times art critic Holland Cotter writes of him: “it was an ethos.” This extensively illustrated cataloguethe first comprehensive Reinhardt overview in 13 yearsreproduces the artist’s signature “black” paintings (his 60 x 60 inch canvases of the 1960s, which he considered to be his “ultimate” aesthetic expression, and “the last paintings that anyone can paint”), as well as his cartoons and photographic slide presentations. Published to document a critically lauded exhibition at David Zwirner in New York in 2013, the monograph includes new scholarship by curator Robert Storr, in addition to an extensive chronology of the artist’s life.
Ad Reinhardt (1913–1967) was born in Buffalo, New York, and studied art history at Columbia University, where he forged lifelong friendships with the authors Thomas Merton and Robert Lax. After studies at the American Artists School, he worked for the WPA and became a member of the American Abstract Artists group, with whom he exhibited for the next decade; later he was also represented by Betty Parsons. Throughout his career Reinhardt engaged in art-world activist politics, participating in the famous protests against The Museum of Modern Art in 1940 and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1950 (among the group that became known as “The Irascibles”).