Ad Reinhardt


Ad Reinhardt Biography

1913 - 1967

A pioneer of Hard-edge painting, Ad Reinhardt was an abstract painter whose artworks and essays were influential in the development of Minimalism and Conceptual Art. Reinhardt was born in Buffalo, New York, and studied art history with Meyer Schapiro at Columbia University. After serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, Reinhardt continued his education at the New York University Institute of Fine Arts. During his career, Reinhardt was an influential teacher at a number of institutions, including Brooklyn College, the California School of Fine Arts, Yale University, and others. 

In his paintings, Reinhardt strove for pure abstraction. Influenced by Cubism, Constructivism, and the works of Piet Mondrian, his early paintings featured bold, geometric forms. As his work evolved in the 1950s, Reinhardt limited his palette and began to make monochromatic paintings with an underlying grid structure in red, then blue, and finally black. Appearing at first glance to be solid fields of black, his Black Paintings (1953 -67) feature barely perceptible grids of differently colored squares.   

In addition to his paintings, Reinhardt also produced satirical cartoons and a few prints. Reinhardt’s first print was made in 1964 as his contribution to the portfolio Ten Works by Ten Artists: X + X (1964). He later made a portfolio titled 10 Screenprints by Ad Reinhardt (1966) that expanded upon his black square paintings. 

His work is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Tate Gallery, and others.