Abstract Painting no. 4

  • Ad Reinhardt, Abstract Painting no. 4, 1961, oil, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc., 1969.47.71

Exhibition Label
Ad Reinhardt’s comments about art are markers of an aesthetic and intellectual journey from early cubist-inspired compositions to the black rectangles he made for the last seven years of his life. He came to believe that painting is a nonnarrative medium and over the course of two decades purged imagery and even traces of his own hand from his work. The matte black surface of Abstract Painting no. 4 is not read quickly, but close examination reveals subtle blue and plum squares arranged in a cruciform shape. Asked to explain his use of black, Reinhardt replied, “It’s because of its non-color. . . . Color has to do with life.”

Modern Masters: Midcentury Abstraction from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2008
Title
Abstract Painting no. 4
Artists
Date
1961
On View
Not on view.
Dimensions
60 1/8 x 60 1/4 in. (152.6 x 152.9 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.

Mediums
Classifications
Keywords
  • Abstract
Object Number
1969.47.71
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI