Ad Reinhardt

American, 1913-1967

No. 15

© Estate of Ad Reinhardt / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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© Estate of Ad Reinhardt / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Estate of Ad Reinhardt / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

No. 15, 1952

Artwork Details

Collection Highlight

Materials

oil on canvas

Measurements

support: 108 1/4 x 40 1/4 inches (274.96 x 102.24 cm); framed: 110 9/16 x 42 1/2 x 2 3/4 inches (280.82875 x 107.95 x 6.9469 cm)

Collection Buffalo AKG Art Museum

Credit

Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1958

Accession ID

K1958:42

Ad Reinhardt spent the bulk of his career tirelessly arguing against excess, hypocrisy, and superficiality in painting. He desired to purge from his own work all color, gesture, and references to genre, and committed himself to a principal geometry of flat rectangles along vertical and horizontal axes. No. 15 presents green and brown brick-like shapes against a deep blue field. They appear to vibrate against this background, creating an illusory sense of depth—as if they are floating under water. While Reinhardt placed these forms asymmetrically within his composition, they gravitate toward a central vertical axis, drawing attention to the imposing height of the canvas.

In 1953, Reinhardt entirely renounced color, and by 1960, he devised the standard format for his final series of works, entitled the Black Paintings. These works are typically divided into a three-by-three square grid and painted in all black with only minor tonal variations. By harnessing only the most elemental of pictorial means in these images, Reinhardt had arrived at his final motif.

Abstract Expressionism