Ad Reinhardt

Ad Reinhardt

Best known for his Black Paintings from 1954-67, abstract painter Ad Reinhardt was influential for the Minimal and Conceptual art movements. The artist was born in Buffalo, New York in 1913, and grew up in New York City. He attended Columbia University, the American Artists School, and the National Academy of Design, after which, from 1936–40, he became one of the few abstract painters to work for the easel division of the WPA Federal Art Project. He then completed his degree at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts, allowing him to teach at various schools, including Yale University and Hunter College. During the 1940s and 50s, his work was often exhibited within the context of Abstract Expressionism, but eventually, with his black, or “ultimate” paintings, he distanced himself from their subjective, expressive style, instead choosing to reference only art itself. Reinhardt also had a practice as a cartoonist, through which he critiqued the politics of the art world. He died in 1967. The Jewish Museum, New York, organized a retrospective in 1966, and at the Museum of Modern Art, New York hosted a survey exhibition in 1991. In 2015, the Malmö Konsthall in Sweden mounted a large-scale exhibition devoted to Reinhardt’s comics and cartoons.

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