Ad Reinhardt

United States of America  1913–1967

Adolf Dietrich Friedrich Reinhardt was born on 24 December 1913 in Buffalo, New York. Soon afterwards his family moved to New York City where, between 1931 and 1935, he attended Columbia University, followed by studies at the National Academy of Design from 1936 to 1939. At this time he aligned himself with the Artists Union and the American Abstract Artists group. Like many artists of his generation he was employed by the Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration. In 1938 he showed work at the annual exhibition of the American Abstract Artists. His first solo exhibition was in 1943 at the Teachers' College Gallery, Columbia University. After concluding his military service as a photographer with the navy in 1945, he studied at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. During this time he was appointed associate professor at Brooklyn College and had the first of many solo exhibitions at the Betty Parsons Gallery, New York. His paintings of this period were in a loose calligraphic style.

In 1953 Reinhardt began to eliminate bright colours and by 1955 he was working almost exclusively in black. Matching the severity of his paintings, the artist gained a reputation for his uncompromising critiques of modern art which were published regularly in major art journals. In 1960 the Betty Parsons Gallery mounted a retrospective of his work, and in 1963 he had a solo exhibition at Galerie Iris Clert, Paris. In 1964 another solo exhibition was held at the Institute of Contemporary Art, London. A major retrospective of his work was held at the Jewish Museum, New York, in the winter of 1966–67. Reinhardt died in New York on 30 August 1967.

See more works by this artist in the NGA collection

Ad Reinhardt Painting 1954-1958 1954-58 © Ad Reinhardt. ARS/Copyright Agency Purchased 1973 Learn more