The Syllabus

Ad Reinhardt and Color

Ad Reinhardt and Color

Margit Rowell
Published in 1980
72 pages, fully illustrated
Softcover, 8.50 x 10 inches

Exploring Ad Reinhardt's influences and his obsession with color, this catalogue written by Margit Rowell presents Reinhardt as a "classical painter" striving towards, in the artist's words, "the last paintings anyone can paint." In addition to Rowell's essay, this catalogue displays images of Reinhardt's works in both color and black and white. The color images demonstrate the subtle modulations of hue that are typical of Reinhardt's work. The catalogue also provides a selected bibliography and a list of selected exhibitions.


Reinhardt's own references to color reflect his understanding of its function and possibilities. A born colorist, if he chose to eliminate red and blue from his final paintings (having discarded all other hues many years before), it was apparently because he found them too seductive and evocative of experiences he wanted to abolish from his art: contrast and tension, illusions of advancing and receding space; sensation, emotion, affectivity, expressivity; color symbolism and art-historical references of all kinds. Color, like drawing, was divisive and expressive and thus antithetical to his aims: formally, a unified field; theoretically, a rigorous art-as-art experience.

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