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No. 15

© 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.

© 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.

Ad Reinhardt

American, 1913-1967

No. 15, 1952

oil on canvas

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 Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York

Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1958

K1958:42

More Details

Inscriptions

signature, dated / on original stretcher / Ad Reinhardt, 1952
no inscriptions / on replacement ICA stretcher 1967

Provenance

Betty Parsons Gallery;
sold to Seymour H. Knox, Jr. for the Albright Art Gallery, December 1, 1958

Class

Paintings (visual works)

Work Type

Oil painting (visual work)

This information may change due to ongoing research. Glossary of Terms

Verbal Description Audio

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.
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