Ad Reinhardt (December 24, 1913 - August 30, 1967)
Born: 24th December, 1913
Died: 30th August, 1967
Nationality: American
Profession/Occupation: Artist
Region: Buffalo, New York, New York City
Notable works: Abstract Expressionism, abstract art, colour-field painting

Ad Reinhardt Facts


Ad Reinhardt, in full Adolf Frederick Reinhardt, (born Dec. 24, 1913, Buffalo, N.Y., U.S.--died Aug. 30, 1967, New York, N.Y.), American painter who painted in several abstract styles and influenced the Minimalist artists of the 1960s.

Reinhardt studied at Columbia University (1931-35) under the art historian Meyer Schapiro, and after graduation he studied at the National Academy of Design and the American Artists' School (1936-37). He was a member of the American Abstract Artists group from 1937 to 1947 and had his first one-man show in 1943 in New York City. He subsequently taught at various colleges. Reinhardt's paintings from the 1930s exhibit brightly coloured, hard-edged geometric designs influenced by Cubism and the Dutch painter Piet Mondrian. In the 1940s he adopted a softer style using rectilinear patterns of small abstract elements evenly distributed over the canvas. By the early 1950s Reinhardt had restricted his works to monochrome paintings--at first red and later blue--incorporating symmetrically placed squares and oblong shapes against backgrounds of similar colour. His later paintings consist of large interlocking rectangles painted in variations of black.

Reinhardt influenced the course of painting more through his activities as a polemicist than as a painter. He explained his own stylistic evolution in dogmatic and conceptual terms as a conscious search for an art that would be entirely separate from life. In his case this took the form of nearly monochrome canvases in which drawing, line, brushwork, texture, light, and most other visual elements were suppressed. The impersonality and exactitude of his works presaged those of the Minimalist painters. With Robert Motherwell, Reinhardt coedited Modern Artists in America (1950). Art-as-Art: The Selected Writings of Ad Reinhardt was published in 1975.

Top 9 Ad Reinhardt quotes

Art is Art. Everything else is everything else.
Everything else
Art is too serious to be taken seriously.
Only a bad artist thinks he has a good idea. A good artist does not need anything.
Good idea
I tried to oppose the academic to the marketplace.
I tried
Now almost every artist outside of New York is connected with some school or some museum school, and even in New York the majority are. That's an interesting fact when you take the idea of making money, making a living selling paintings. Only a dozen or two painters do that.
Making a living
Making money
The job at Brooklyn is interesting because Brooklyn reflects what happened to university art departments everywhere. It might be the worst department now, and yet at one point it was the best in the country.
I taught a lot of art history, especially Chinese, Japanese, and Indian. But the painting classes came back. The nudes came back. Not so much the still lifes. So now our department is the worst department, partly because it has the worst facilities.
Art history
If some student came up and wanted to know where to study painting, you'd want to suggest someplace, but there's no place. I wouldn't know where to send a student to study.
Sculpture is something you bump into when you back up to look at a painting.

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