PRINT April 1974

Artists as Writers, Part Two: The Realm of Language

ROBERT SMITHSON EXAMINED THE CHRONOLOGY that Ad Reinhardt prepared for his retrospective in 1967 and noted that

behind the “facts” of his life run the ludicrous events of hazard and destruction. A series of fixed incidents in the dumps of time. “1936 Civil War in Spain.” “1961 Bay of Pigs fiasco.” “1964 China explodes atom bomb.” Everything in this chronology is transparent and intangible, and moves from semblance to semblance, in order to disclose the final nullity."1966 One Hundred twenty paintings at Jewish Museum.”1

Here Reinhardt provides, ironically, the spectacle of the artist seen against a data-rich society, refusing to relinquish the headlines that belong to everyone. Another entry in the chronology reads: “1949 painting watercolors in Virgin Islands waiting for divorce.” In the catalogue of this exhibition the show is described as containing “recent oil and casein paintings” and

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