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Ad and Spirituality

Ad Reinhardt and the Via Negativa

Thomas Merton (1915 – 1968), Robert Lax (1915 – 2000) and Ad Reinhardt (1913 – 1967), who became lifelong friends, met in 1935 at Columbia University while working for the Jester, the school’s humor magazine.

Maybe I’m Just Simple, Real, and Human After All

My title is a sentence Ad Reinhardt wrote toward the end of one of his writings called “The Artist in Search of an Academy, Part Two: Who are the Artists?” It’s nine o’clock on a Sunday.

Ad Reinhardt, Theology, and ‘Apophatic’ Art

For many years I have wondered whether an apophatic aesthetics, mirroring apophatic theology, might be the correct way to answer one of the basic questions in philosophy of art, “What is the goal aimed at in artistic creativity?”

An Editor’s View of Reinhardt and Merton:
A Generation Behind; a Generation Ahead

Some 35 years ago, when I became editor of Artforum – with a drawer almost bare of manuscripts – I jotted down some subjects I thought it might be well to do as part of the history of modernism in These Parts.

The Sense of a Beginning

In Reinhardt’s black paintings a slow process of realization follows a first, quick impression of blankness: form emerges out of vacancy, mysterious presence from manifest absence.

The Sense of an Ending

The convergence of the death of Arthur Danto, the invitation to write something for the Rail on the 100th anniversary of Ad Reinhardt’s birth, and the first anniversary of Superstorm Sandy has set me thinking about Ends.

Ad Reinhardt’s Black Paintings, the Void, and Chinese Painting

Ad Reinhardt’s writings are rife with contradictions and paradoxes. So much so, that he has been described as a master of “the aesthetics of negation,”


The Brooklyn Rail


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