Ad Reinhardt Quotes

Adolph Frederick Reinhardt ("Ad" Reinhardt) (December 24, 1913 – August 30, 1967) was an abstract painter active in New York beginning in the 1930s and continuing through the 1960s. He was a member of the American Abstract Artists and was a part of the movement centered on the Betty Parsons Gallery that became known as abstract expressionism. He was also a member of The Club, the meeting place for the New York School abstract expressionist artists during the 1940s and 1950s. He wrote and lectured extensively on art and was a major influence on conceptual art, minimal art and monochrome painting. Most famous for his "black" or "ultimate" paintings, he claimed to be painting the "last paintings" that anyone can paint. He believed in a philosophy of art he called Art-as-Art and used his writing and satirical cartoons to advocate for abstract art and against what he described as "the disreputable practices of artists-as-artists"

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Ad Reinhardt


Art is Art. Everything else is everything else.

Ad Reinhardt


The job at Brooklyn is interesting because Brooklyn reflects what happened to university art departments everywhere. It might be the worst department now, and yet at one point it was the best in the country.

Ad Reinhardt


I taught a lot of art history, especially Chinese, Japanese, and Indian. But the painting classes came back. The nudes came back. Not so much the still lifes. So now our department is the worst department, partly because it has the worst facilities.

Ad Reinhardt


Only a bad artist thinks he has a good idea. A good artist does not need anything.

Ad Reinhardt


Now almost every artist outside of New York is connected with some school or some museum school, and even in New York the majority are. That's an interesting fact when you take the idea of making money, making a living selling paintings. Only a dozen or two painters do that.

Ad Reinhardt


I tried to oppose the academic to the marketplace.

Ad Reinhardt


I want to emphasize the idea of black as intellectuality and conventionality.

Ad Reinhardt


I like the idea of the museum world and the university-academic situation where artists talk to each other or where artists or art students study with artists.

Ad Reinhardt


Painting cannot be the only activity of a mature artist.

Ad Reinhardt


As for a picture, if it isn't worth a thousand words, the hell with it.

Ad Reinhardt


My painting represents the victory of the forces of darkness and peace over the powers of light and evil.

Ad Reinhardt


The eye is a menace to clear sight.

Ad Reinhardt


If some student came up and wanted to know where to study painting, you'd want to suggest someplace, but there's no place. I wouldn't know where to send a student to study.

Ad Reinhardt


It is not right for painters to think that painting is like prostitution, that 'first you do it for love, then you do it for others, and finally you do it for money.

Ad Reinhardt


Art is too serious to be taken seriously.

Ad Reinhardt