Ad Reinhardt

Abstract Painting

c.1951–2

Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 2032 x 1067 mm
frame: 2097 x 1130 x 40 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1972
Reference
T01531

Display caption

Reinhardt's early work was Abstract Expressionist in character but from 1949 he increasingly came to believe in an absolutely pure, ordered and balanced abstract art. This is one of the so-called brick paintings in which he first began to work out this vision. Ultimately he made paintings which appeared to be pure black monochromes, although they were made from a mix of colours and had an underlying geometric structure.

Gallery label, September 2004

Catalogue entry

Ad Reinhardt 1913-1967

T01531 Abstract Painting c. 1951-2

Inscribed 'AD REINHARDT' on stretcher
Oil on canvas, 80 x 42 (203 x 106.5)
Purchased from the Marlborough Gallery (Grant-in-Aid) 1972
Prov: With Marlborough Gallery, New York (purchased from the artist's estate)
Exh: Amerikansk Kunst 1950-70, Louisiana Museum, Humlebaek, September-October 1971 (57); Ad Reinhardt, Städtische Kunsthalle, Düsseldorf, September-October 1972 (33, repr. in colour); Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, December 1972-January 1973 (32, repr. in colour); Kunsthaus, Zurich, February-March 1973 (33, repr. in colour); Grand Palais, Paris, May-July 1973 (32, repr. in colour); Museum des 20. Jahrhunderts, Vienna, July-August 1973 (33, repr. in colour); Ad Reinhardt: a Selection from 1937 to 1952, Marlborough Gallery, New York, March 1974 (38, repr.)

This picture was exhibited from 1971 onwards as 'Brick Painting' 1950. However, as Lucy R. Lippard points out: '"Brick Painting" would not be the title, but a generic title for actually a different type of canvas - with many small "bricks" of color. He would have called this type "abstract painting" ... The dates are all questionable, but as far as I could ascertain it would be c.1951-2' (letter of 6 January 1975).

It may have been exhibited earlier at the Betty Parsons Gallery, but it has not been possible so far to identify it in the Gallery's files.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.623, reproduced p.623


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