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Forgot Password? No account? Create one here? Number 18, , is a summation of the dichotomy of line and space which activates so much of his art in the s. In this painting, vertical lines are contrasted with a horizontal format, vague totem-like shapes comport themselves against their brushy background. As 1 iess observed, "it represents the Keinhardt waterfall at its best.
Without beginning or end, like a Chinese scroll, it offers a minutely deco- rated surface covered without a particular plan or desire to epitomize any particular feeling, but simply to paint. The containment of much of his former art — both its geometric and organic versions — has been pierced, and the all-over surface of his later paintings makes an appearance in a lushly tangled form.
Number 18, Oil on canvas, 40 x 60 inches Purchase In his parody analysis of his develop- ment, Reinhardt called this third phase of his art "archaic color-brick-brushstroke impres- sionism. The strokes became not marks on but the structure of the picture.
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The personal note hinted at in so much of his art of the 1 s diminished. His pictures had less incident. At first, strong contrasts of the brick-motif color Untitled, c. V2 x 31 inches orientation undesignated 50th Anniversary Gift of Mr. Bergman In time, their values became closer: the brick strokes became an all-over motif.
The casual- ness seen in the Museum's c. Edges were straightened and tightened.
The horizontal placement of paint- strokes often contrasted with the verticality of the canvas shape. Number 1, , illustrates these extensions of the ideas implicit in the Museum's earlier stud.
Both artists composed their paintings of paint marks; they pursued the activity of making in- creasingly simple marks with no emotional or intellectual connotations. These brick-like marks were ordered until they grew into solid blocks of variation upon one color. Gadfly of the art world, tireless pursuer and categorizer of information, frequenter and righteously combative partici- pant at all symposia, Reinhardt found in the cartoon-collage a perfect medium. Actual drawing was subordinated to cut-and-pasted illustrations animated by brief commentaries. All varieties of printed sources, particularly nineteenth-century books with engravings, were cannibalized.
From the late s through the early s, Reinhardt had supported himself by- assisting industrial designers among others, Russel Wright and as an illustrator his con- troversial drawing of a figure with a visible navel, made for Ruth Benedict's Races of Man- kind, helped resolve this now-dated issue. This training and experience were put to ser- vice in his first cartoon-illustration, produced for PM, a short-lived, leftist-oriented, New York afternoon newspaper.
Ad Reinhardt | AUREL SCHEIBLER
For a little under a year, beginning in late January 1 , one of Reinhardt's cartoons appeared even. The general pur- pose of the series was to satirize "Bauhaus, surrealist and expressionist pretentions to meaning. How to Look at a Spiral and A Page of Jokes, a grab bag of humor in the vein of the "How to" series, survive and are in the Museum's collection only because they never got to press; the other PM cartoons exist as photo reproductions from surviving copies of the newspaper.
Under the direction of Harry Holtzman, an associate of Reinhardt's in the American Ab- stract Artists group, each issue of this serious journal was lightened by a Reinhardt cartoon- collage. Museum Landscape appeared in and commented upon the "abstract" affiliations of the participants and non-participants in that year's Whitney Museum Annual Exhibition. Museum Racing Form was published in the next year's issue. It successfully- used horse racing as a paradigm of the art world. Amidst its cornu- copia of puns, it featured such Joycean combinations of artists' names as "well I'll be a shahn of a bouche!
Hess was just beginning. Hess had a great affinity- for Reinhardt's intelligence and caustic humor, and between and seven articles by Reinhardt appeared in the magazine. It was a response to a Wildenstein Gallery- exhibition for the benefit of the Whitney Museum's purchase fund. The major critics for the seven leading art publications each chose ten favorite paintings. Reinhardt was not one of the artists selected and Ben Shahn's Vacant Lot was the most frequently requested work.
As in Reinhardt's other Art Sews cartoons, art dealers, critics and museum personnel were given nearly equal time with artists. The system was unmasked; everyone was acerbically categorized. Poundingfathersf oily day was published in Art News two years later, in April Again a barrage of puns crowded the page. Sections of it were devoted to imaginary athletic contests pitting, in boxing, Rothko against Still and Diller against Albers. In team- wrestling, the Kootz Gallery artists, "Kootzen- jammer Kids," were matched against the Sidney Janis stable, the "Janisjaguars. The mandala's four basic sections dealt with art in relation to government, nature, education and business.
Its key unlocked the mysteries of the art world, revealing, for instance, in a north- east quadrant of the mandala, that the Whitney Museum was a "Fish-Fry Valhalla. With the "black" paintings came a cessation of the cartoon-collage aspect of Reinhardt's art, though in a severely pruned version of his PM cartoon "How to Look at Modern Art in America" appeared in Art News. As his series of color-brick paintings developed, spaces be- tween the paintstrokes were carefully rilled in and the edges of the color areas sharpened. The paint was applied as evenly as possible, and the color values narrowed.
The interwoven brick shapes often formed a nearly solid tonality. While moving toward his ultimate series of black paintings, Reinhardt insisted of Number i j that it had "no concern especially with light, form or space divisions or relationships, nor with color contrasts. A recent publi- cation on Reinhardt established at length the fascinating parallels between the development of Mondrian and of Reinhardt. Yet the author acknowledges from the outset the tenuousness of their proven direct connections.
My preoccupation with symmetry and color- lessness is the great change.
Ad Reinhardt’s Emblematic Drawings In Their Moment
This change isn't mine entirely. Albers has been symmet- rical for a long time.
In the winter and spring of and , Reinhardt taught at Yale University. The position had been offered to him by Albers, who had commenced in his eight-year direction of Yale's art de- partment.
Why are so many people paying so much money for art? Ask David Zwirner.
Albers had begun his "Homage to the Square" series in the summer of He pursued his systematic format as vigorously as Reinhardt pursued the Greek cross motif. The squares in Albers' paintings have a symmetry akin to Reinhardt's use of the five-square Greek cross, yet, as Bruce Glaser pointed out concerning a typical Albers painting, it is "not [symmetrical] if you turn it on its side.
Its central Greek cross is contained by three-square bars at top and bot- tom. Of this shape and the color black, one recalls that Reinhardt listed Georgia O'Keeffe's Black Cross, New Mexico in his chronology as one of the seminal works of the twentieth century. The individual squares of color can function alone or merge into bars.
In muted, natural, changing light, Reinhardt's squares flow together, alternately horizontally and ver- tically. The quality of color in Abstract Paint- ing, Blue suggests the tones of the Caribbean waters off the Virgin Islands, which Reinhardt, awaiting a divorce from his first wife, had visited in In undated notes, he describes blue as the "color of villains, ghosts and fiends. Contrary to Reinhardt's declarations, meticulous concern was obviously taken in its spatial relationships and coloristic balance. But the arrangement of its small squares and larger squares and rectangles is not program- matic.
In order to eliminate such subjective arrangements and to systematize his art, Rein- hardt soon elected to limit his paintings to a single composition and color. In his black paintings, he pursued an art of subtle mutability based upon the negation of as many variables as possible. These changes coincided with three events in his life: his teaching duties at Yale University in — 53; his marriage in to Rita Ziprowski, a young painter; and the birth of their only child, a daughter, the following year.
This second marriage and a child set up a new rhythm in his life. By Reinhardt painted only the sym- metric, so-called "black" paintings that concluded his art. But no one before had set out so earnestly to create, in the artist's own words, "the last painting which anyone can make. He had represented the series as "unmanipu- lated and unmanipulatable, useless, unmarket- able, irreducible, unphotographable, un- reproducible, inexplicable icons.
A non-enter- tainment, not for art commerce or mass-art publics, non-expressionistic, not tor oneself. They quickly achieved a wide, if at first confounded and unconvinced, audi- ence. Reinhardt noted that in he was listed in Fortune magazine as "one of the top twelve investments in 'art' " and added that the next year he had to borrow money to pay for one of the first of the many trips he took during the s and s. In , Hilton Kramer perceived these final works as "the most genuinely nihilistic paintings I know He tries to validate it by reducing it to an ideal. Discussion might best be summarized in the terms chosen by an artist who admired Rein- hardt's work deeply enough to acquire one of the series for himself: Frank Stella said of these works, "If you don't know what they're about you don't know what painting is about.
Reinhardt twice gave this date as the year he began to paint seriously. Morris, American Abstract Artists, unpaginated. Guggenheim Museum, , p. Reinhardt, Art-as-Art, p. Ad Reinhardt, quoted in Thomas B. Thomas B. Reinhardt, response to questionnaire, June Rowell, Ad Reinhardt and Color, pp. Quoted in Rowell, Ad Reinhardt and Color, p. Reinhardt, Art-as-Art, pp. Porter, Art in Its Own Terms, p. New York: Betty Parsons Gallery, i Lippard, Lucy R. Ad Reinhardt. However, formatting rules can vary widely between applications and fields of interest or study.