Ad Reinhardt Press Release


November 7—December 18, 2013

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.

For all press inquiries, contact


Ashley Tickle
Hyatt Mannix
+1 212 727 2070

Artist Biography

Exhibition Checklist