PRINT October 1967

Chronology by Ad Reinhardt

On August 30, 1967, Ad Reinhardt died of a heart attack at his studio in New York City. The chronology below, written for the catalog of his exhibition drier this year at the Jewish Museum, reflects the singular combination of irony, wit and profound dedication which was Ad Reinhardt and of which the world of art is now so prematurely deprived.

1913 Born New York, Christmas Eve, nine months after Armory Show. (Father leaves “old country” for America in 1907 after serving in Tsar Nicholas’ army. Mother leaves Germany in 1909.)

1913 Malevich paints first geometric-abstract painting.

1914 Matisse paints “Porte-Fenêtre, Collioure.”

1914 Mondrian begins “plus-minus” paintings.

1915 Gets crayons for birthday, copies “funnies,” Moon Mullins, Krazy Kat and Barney Google.

1916 Juan Gris paints “Dish of Fruit.”

1916 Dada in Zurich.

1917 Cuts up newspapers. Tears pictures out of books.

1917 October Revolution in Russia. Lenin replaces Kerensky.

1918 Malevich paints “White on White.”

1918 Peace. World War I ends.

1919 Enters Public Grade School No. 88, Fresh Pond Road, Ridgewood, Queens.

1919 Léger paints “The City.”

1919 Monet paints “Water Lilies.”

1920 Wins water color flower painting contest.

1921 Abstract painters have trouble in Russia.

1922 Mexican painters issue anti-“art for art’s sake” manifesto.

1922 Joyce completes “Ulysses.”

1923 Marcel Duchamp gives up painting.

1924 Copies Old English and German Black-Letter printing.

1925 Arp makes “Mountain, Table, Anchors, Navel.”

1926 Picasso paints “The Studio.”

1927 Wins medal for pencil-portraits of Jack Dempsey, Abraham Lincoln, Babe Ruth and Charles Lindbergh.

1928 Enters Newtown High School. Elmhurst. Queens.

1928 Wins prizes and medals for art and citizenship.

1929 Museum of Modern Art opens.

1929 Stock Market crashes.

1929 Georgia O’Keefe paints “Black Cross, New Mexico.”

1930 Makes drawings of knights, heraldry, shields, stars, battleflags

1931 Enters Columbia College.

1932 Paints studies of Michelangelo’s Sistine Ceiling figures for literature class of Raymond Weaver who suggests courses with Meyer Schapiro who suggests joining campus radical groups.

1933 Falls asleep in all of Irwin Edman’s lectures on aesthetics.

1933 Thrown off wrestling team for not keeping in training.

1934 Accused by Dean Hawkes of stuffing dormitory tenth-floor shower-drains with art materials and flooding ninth floor (not guilty).

1935 Elected to Student Board on campaign promise to abolish Fraternities.

1935 Makes “cubist-mannered” cartoon of “rectilinear” President Nicholas Murray Butler beating “curvilinear” babies with a big club, censored by Jester Editor Herman Wouk, but printed in Spectator by Editor James Wechsler, becomes city-wide “academic freedom” issue.

1935 Becomes Editor of Jester. Elected to All-American Staff of College Comic Editors.

1936 Civil Warin Spain.

1936 Studies painting with Carl Holty and Francis Criss.

1936 Studies painting with Karl Anderson at National Academy.

1937 Joins Artists’ Union and American Abstract Artists.

1937 Hired on Federal Art Project by Burgoyne Diller. becomes “Artist, Class 1, Grade 4, $87.60 mo., Easel Division.”

1937 Marches on all-night picket-lines.

1938 Listens to neighbor Stuart Davis’ loud ragtime jazz records looks at his loud colored shirts on clothes-lines.

1938 Begins series of bright colored paintings.

1939 Disagrees with Matta about importance in art of artists rubbing against sweaty people in subway rush-hours.

1939 Debates social-protest painters about “Art of the Museums” vs. “Art in the Streets.”

1940 Demonstrates in the street against Museum of Modern Art for being against modern art.

1940 Writes letter against Wyndham Lewis for being against abstract art.

1940 Starts to break up geometric paintings of late thirties.

1941 Fired from Federal Art Project.

1941 Visits Balcomb Greene’s country nudist-colony. runs around naked.

1941 Attacked by Mike Gold in Daily Worker.

1942 Designs magazines for New York Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers.

1943 Tries to talk Thomas Merton out of becoming a Trappist.

1943 Refuses to help Arshile Gorky start a camouflage school.

1943 Wonders what Adolph Gottlieb and Mark Rothko are up to when they announce, “There is no such thing as good painting about nothing.”

1943 Continues making paintings about nothing.

1944 Makes cartoon for Ruth Benedict’s pamphlet “Races of Mankind” which Congressman tries to censor for armed-forces distribution because drawing shows Adam with navel. Time magazine reprints Michelangelo’s Adam with navel, settling nation-wide “freedom of opinion” issue.

1944 Liberation of Paris.

1944 Is first artist to use Collage in daily newspaper (after Max 1956 Suez crisis Ernst).

1944 Begins art history studies with Alfred Salmony.

1944 Paints midnights to mornings.

1944 Has first Art Gallery Show at Artists’ Gallery.

1945 Peace. World War II ends.

1945 Discharged, honorably, from U.S. Navy.

1945 Civil War in China.

1946 First show at Betty Parsons Gallery.

1946 Attacks E.E. Cummings for comments on Krazy Kat.

1946 Fired from Newspaper PM.

1947 India gains independence.

1947 Begins teaching at Brooklyn College.

1948 Helps found Artists’ Club but doesn’t help paint walls or sweep floors.

1948 Israel gains independence.

1948 Talks at “Subjects of the Artists“ School on “Detachment and Involvement“ against all involvements.

1949 Irish Republic established.

1949 Paints water colors in Virgin Islands waiting for divorce.

1950 Edits book with Robert Motherwell.

1950 Protests with “lrascibles” against Metropolitan Museum for being against avant-garde art.

1950 Makes cartoon called Abstraction Crowned at the Whitney.

1951 Argues with John Sloan about Jackson Pollock in Taos.

1951 Matisse cuts up colored papers.

1952 Debates for several weeks on “The Hess Problem” at Artists’ Club.

1952 Farouk abdicates Egyptian throne.

1953 Gives up principles of asymmetry and irregularity in painting.

1953 Paints last paintings in bright colors.

1953 Visits Greece.

1954 Daughter born.

1954 Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam achieve independence.

1954 Macdonald Wright returns to Abstract Art.

1955 Listed in Fortune magazine as one of top twelve investments in Art market.

1956 Borrows money from bank to travel.

1956 Suez crisis.

1956 Makes last cartoon, a mandala.

1957 Willem DeKooning says in the Chuckwagon,“The rich are all right.”

1957 Buys Pearl Bailey’s record, “They’re good enough for me.”

1957 Forms SPOAF (Society for the Protection of Our Artist Friends) (from themselves), after reading “Nature in Abstraction” statements.

1958 Creates first Non-Happening, shows two thousand color-slides at Artists’ Club.

1958 Visits Japan, India, Persia, Egypt.

1959 Castro Revolution in Cuba.

1959 U.S. makes first radar contact with Venus.

1960 Writes about Buddha images.

1960 France explodes nuclear bomb.

1961 Visits Turkey, Syria, Jordan.

1961 Bay of Pigs fiasco.

1961 Protests Guggenheim Museum’s “Abstract Expressionist and Imagist” history.

1962 Protests Whitney Museum’s “Geometric Abstraction” history.

1962 Plan for “Ad Reinhardt Museum” is projected.

1962 Algerian independence.

1962 Speaks at First Conference on Aesthetic Responsibility.

1963 Dissents from Dissent magazine’s dissent from “Artists’ Committee to Free Siqueiros” from prison.

1963 Profumo Scandal in England.

1963 Six paintings in New York and six paintings in Paris get marked up and have to be roped off from the public.

1964 Ten paintings in London get marked up.

1964 China explodes atomic bomb.

1965 Man walks in space.

1966 One hundred twenty paintings at Jewish Museum.