On the occasion of the centennial anniversary of Ad
Reinhardt’s birth, David Zwirner is pleased to announce an
exhibition of the artist’s work in collaboration with the Ad
Reinhardt Foundation. Organized by curator Robert Storr, this
will be the gallery’s inaugural exhibition of Reinhardt’s work.
Comprised entirely of works on loan from public and private
collections, this exhibition will include the first room of
Reinhardt’s "ultimate" black paintings to be seen in New York
since the 1991 retrospective at The Museum of Modern Art,
New York. Reinhardt describes these paintings as: "A square
(neutral, shapeless) canvas, five feet wide, five feet high, as
high as a man, as wide as a man's outstretched arms (not
large, not small, sizeless), trisected (no composition), one
horizontal form negating one vertical form (formless, no top,
no bottom, directionless), three (more or less) dark (lightless)
no-contrasting (colorless) colors, brushwork brushed out to
remove brushwork, a matte, flat, free-hand, painted surface
(glossless, textureless, non-linear, no hard-edge, no soft edge)
which does not reflect its surroundings—a pure, abstract,
non-objective, timeless, spaceless, changeless, relationless, disinterested painting—an object that is self-conscious (no unconsciousness)
ideal, transcendent, aware of no thing but art (absolutely no anti-art)."
In addition to the black paintings, the exhibition will feature Reinhardt’s cartoons and photographic slides.
For Reinhardt, cartoons were a humorous platform for satirical observations
about the art world, and culture and society more broadly. He created them for
various publications throughout his career, most notably for the progressive daily
newspaper P.M., where his "How to Look" series first appeared in 1946.
The exhibition will include one of the most extensive presentations of Reinhardt’s
slides to date. During the last two decades of his life, Reinhardt produced over
12,000 color slides, mostly from photographs that he took during his extensive
travels, and supplemented with some images from magazines and museum
collections. He often presented them in lecture-format slideshows or, as he
referred to them, "non-happenings."
The gallery will release several publications on the occasion of the exhibition,
including a fully illustrated catalogue of Reinhardt’s art comics with a new essay
by Robert Storr. In addition, art historian Alex Bacon has prepared a pamphlet
on the black paintings, and Prudence Peiffer has prepared one on the slides.
Both will be available in the gallery. In the spring of 2014, the gallery will publish
a monograph on Reinhardt’s work, which will include historical documentation,
an extensive chronology of the artist’s life, and new scholarship by Robert Storr.
During his lifetime, Reinhardt (1913–1967) was affiliated with a number of
historically significant galleries, including Betty Parsons Gallery, New York, where
his work was shown regularly from 1946 through the 1960s; Galerie Iris Clert,
Paris; and Dwan Gallery, New York and Los Angeles, where he had a number of
solo shows and where his work was presented in 10, the seminal 1966 exhibition
that he organized with Robert Smithson and Robert Morris, and also included
works by Carl Andre, Jo Baer, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, Agnes Martin,
and Michael Steiner.
Reinhardt’s work was included in important museum exhibitions during his
lifetime, including Abstract and Surrealist Art in the United States (1944),
Cincinnati Art Museum; Abstract Painting and Sculpture in America (1951–52),
Americans 1963 (1963–64), and The Responsive Eye (1965–66), The Museum of
Modern Art, New York; The New Decade: 35 American Painters and Sculptors
(1955–56), Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Painting and Sculpture
of a Decade: 1954–64 (1964), Tate Gallery, London; and Black, White and Grey
(1969), Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut; among others. At the
end of 1966, Sam Hunter, with the assistance of Lucy Lippard, mounted a major
retrospective of his work at The Jewish Museum, New York.
Posthumous museum exhibitions of Reinhardt’s work have been organized by the
Städtische Kunsthalle, Düsseldorf (1977-78); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum,
New York (1980); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1980-81); Corcoran
Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (1984); Staatsgalerie Stuttgart (1985); and
the Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht. The Museum of Modern Art, New York,
presented a comprehensive survey of the artist’s work in 1991–92. More recent
exhibitions have taken place at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
(2008); Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo (2011–12); Josef Albers Museum, Bottrop
(2010–11); and the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (2011). A selection
of Reinhardt’s paintings were recently included in the exhibitions Abstract
Expressionism at the Museum of Modern Art, The Museum of Modern Art,
New York (2010–11); Blacks: Louise Nevelson, Ad Reinhardt, Hiroshi Sugimoto,
Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art, Japan (Spring 2013); and Letzte Bilder:
Von Manet bis Kippenberger, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt (Spring 2013).