20 Facts About Ad Reinhardt


Adolph Dietrich Friedrich Ad Reinhardt was an abstract painter active in New York for more than three decades.

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Ad Reinhardt was a member of the American Abstract Artists and part of the movement centered on the Betty Parsons Gallery that became known as abstract expressionism.

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Ad Reinhardt was a member of The Club, the meeting place for the New York School abstract expressionist artists during the 1940s and 1950s.

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Ad Reinhardt wrote and lectured extensively on art and was a major influence on conceptual art, minimal art and monochrome painting.

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Ad Reinhardt believed in a philosophy of art he called Art-as-Art and used his writing and satirical cartoons to advocate for abstract art and against what he described as "the disreputable practices of artists-as-artists".

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Ad Reinhardt was born in Buffalo, New York, and lived with his family in the Riverside section along the Niagara River.

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Ad Reinhardt later studied art history at Columbia College of Columbia University, where he was a close friend of Robert Lax and Thomas Merton.

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Ad Reinhardt considered himself a painter from a very early age and began winning prizes for painting in grade school and high school.

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Ad Reinhardt took painting classes as an undergraduate at Columbia's Teachers College and after graduation began to study painting with Carl Holty and Francis Criss at the American Artists School, while simultaneously studying portraiture at the National Academy of Design under Karl Anderson.

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Ad Reinhardt described his association with the group as "one of the greatest things that ever happened to me".

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Ad Reinhardt participated in group exhibitions at the Peggy Guggenheim Gallery, and he had his first one-man show at the Artists Gallery in 1943.

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Ad Reinhardt then went on to be represented by Betty Parsons, exhibiting first at the Wakefield Bookshop, the Mortimer Brandt Gallery and then when Parsons opened her own gallery on 57th street.

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Ad Reinhardt had regular solo exhibitions yearly at the Betty Parsons Gallery beginning in 1946.

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Ad Reinhardt taught at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco, the University of Wyoming, Yale University and Hunter College, New York.

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Ad Reinhardt's earliest exhibited paintings avoided representation, but show a steady progression away from objects and external reference.

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Ad Reinhardt's work progressed from compositions of geometrical shapes in the 1940s to works in different shades of the same color in the 1950s.

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Ad Reinhardt is best known for his so-called "black" paintings of the 1960s, which appear at first glance to be simply canvases painted black but are actually composed of black and nearly black shades.

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Ad Reinhardt's writing includes comments on his own work and that of his contemporaries.

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Ad Reinhardt illustrated a children's book A Good Man and His Good Wife.

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Ad Reinhardt illustrated many books such as Who's Who in the Zoo.

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