Ad Reinhardt (1913-1967)

Untitled, 1966; Serigraph on wove paper, From the edition of 250 (of which only the first 20 were signed), Numbered 15/250 and signed Ad Reinhardt in pencil lower left; Published by Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut; Framed floated on an acid free mat, black wood frame, and UV Museum Perfect glass; Size - Sheet: 22 x 17", Frame: 27 1/4 x 22 1/4"; *Note: This is a rare print and one of a very few that is numbered & signed by Ad Reinhardt.

"Art is art-as-art. Everything else is everything else." - Ad Reinhardt

Ad Reinhardt was an american artist and part of the abstract expressionist movement of the late 1940's. He is most known for his writings concerning "art-as-art" and for his monochromatic paintings of the 1950's which consisted of different shades of the same color; blue, red, or white. However, Reinhardt's most famous works are the all black paintings of the 1960's which were most often 5' by 5' square and were composed of shades of black that were applied by the use of many different thinly painted layers. Because of the way in which the paintings were made; works by Reinhardt, if they

are damaged, are impossible to repair back to their original state even by the world's best conservators. Regarding the use of black, Reinhardt stated, "My painting represents the victory of the forces of darkness and peace over the powers of light and evil." 

In 1966, Reinhardt created a series of serigraphs on paper that showcased his monochromatic format, with each of ten different works created in an edition size of 250. Within the suite, the compositions were composed of light values of blue and black. Only the first 20 of each image were hand signed, although all were numbered. This print represents the only hand signed and numbered Reinhardt print that I have ever seen for sale in the open market in the past 20 years.

This vertical rectangular composition is composed of black, blue-black, and red-black squares that are screened adjacent to each other in a specific arrangement. Based on the lighting of the work; it may appear as a pure black rectangular monolith floating in space or as a twenty-one square checkered  pattern that is balanced by white on either side. The resulting composition is one of reflection and submits to the viewer the idea of pure absolution. Reinhardt claimed that his black paintings represented the "last paintings" that anyone will ever paint.

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