PRINT February 2012


Ad Reinhardt, How to Look at Low (Surrealist) Art, 1946, page from PM 3 (March 24, 1946).

IT'S EASY, following his own strategies of reduction, to think of Ad Reinhardt as a painter, more specifically as an abstract painter, and most specifically as an abstract painter of black squares. Reinhardt’s life is in fact bracketed by abstraction: Born as it burgeoned in 1913, he died just as it was undergoing a reinvention through Minimalism in 1967. He famously “only” painted black cruciform canvases for the last fourteen years of his life. Scattered across institutional and private collections, these squares (despite their insistent elimination of expressive brushstroke or signature) function so effectively as Reinhardt’s modernist calling cards that they almost obscure the complex path that led toward them and toward the complication of postwar abstraction in general. Reinhardt’s oeuvre encompasses biting caricatures and humorous collage cartoons, abstract collages, drawings and prints on cardboard and paper, reviews and polemical texts, and approximately twelve thousand slide photographs. Yet even if we know that there is more to his work than just his best-known (and best) paintings, we often forget how these other means may have informed his absolute end.

If Reinhardt’s most visible late work hovers near invisibility, what do we see at the beginning? Following from the image of Reinhardt as the creator of the “ultimate” painting, we might imagine a career trajectory that looks something like a steady process of purgation, as the artist transitions from the antic experimentation of his early years to the austere gravity of his mature period. But to envision such a progression would too easily denature a practice motivated, to a striking degree, by a struggle with drawing or, more precisely, with line. At Pace Gallery in New York this past fall, an exhibition of intimately scaled drawings Reinhardt produced between 1935 and 1945 (many never before seen in public) foregrounded this engagement with line and, in the process, highlighted the complexity of his early work’s relationship to his iconic late paintings.

The decade of ’35–’45 was a fraught period on the world stage as well as on the brightening art stage of New York, where debates about abstraction and figuration were famously waged in downtown bars and uptown museums. Reinhardt, who studied at the National Academy of Design and the American Artists’ School and worked in the easel division of the Federal Arts Project after his 1935 graduation from Columbia University, was firmly embedded in this milieu. He was acutely aware of the scene and its players, acutely loyal to mentors (such as Carl Holty, Francis Criss, and Burgoyne Diller)¹ increasingly overshadowed by a new influx of European émigrés, and acutely impatient to get to work. He had an active, hungry eye and even in those early years was on the defensive about its focused, discerning gaze. He had already decided that art’s apotheosis would be abstract painting, which he called the “central fact” of the twentieth century.² In 1943, he declared, “It is more difficult to write or talk about abstract painting than about any other painting because the content is not in a subject matter or story, but in the actual painting activity.”³ Reinhardt here locates painting’s heart in the disciplined procedure of its making and, by implication, in a parallel viewing experience—both activities that require sustained and careful work.

Yet while this declaration has the ring of certainty, that does not mean he had everything figured out. In many of his early drawings, a sense of striving is almost palpable: All wound up, they are the sticky chrysalis before the canvases emerged, fully formed, cool and collected, in the early 1950s. The central issues that Reinhardt’s “ultimate” paintings elegantly resolve are alive in the early works as fascinating, snarled problems: What to do about color? About the ethics of representation? About biomorphic abstraction and Surrealism? About scale? And, most critically: What to do about drawing? The recurring questions of these early works would become the laconic statements of his blue, red, and black paintings.

In one sketchbook exhibited for the first time in the Pace show, pages display quick, facile sketches of paintings in progress, paintings completed, paintings never made. (Like a treasure map, the notebook invites us to match drawing to extant work—a pleasure that will increase with the arrival of a catalogue raisonné, as many of Reinhardt’s early paintings are not on public view.) Recent art is digested with astonishing dexterity: a Miró-esque arabesque, a shattered Picasso still life, a Matissean lounging nude in a single supine line, a menagerie of twisted creatures like extras from Calder’s circus. Reinhardt was also attentive to sources closer to home, particularly American painter Stuart Davis, who was his studio neighbor for a while, and who also made cartoons and was an avid, witty writer. In his autobiographical 1966 text “Chronology,” Reinhardt jokingly suggests that the sight of Davis’s colorful laundry hanging on a clothesline and the loud sound of jazz records spilling out of his studio inspired a series of pastel and nearly Day-Glo paintings in 1938. In fact, Davis’s breakthrough “Egg­beaters” series, 1927–28, in which he repeatedly experimented with the abstracted still life as “space-object,” set a precedent for Reinhardt’s own exploration of negative space, geometric outlines, and angular planes of flat color ten years later. The series seems also to have influenced Reinhardt’s continual development into the ’50s of the meaning of “color-space,” a term theorized by Davis, as a replacement for line. And Davis’s light touch with the vernacular, whether he was depicting a New England wharf or a city block, is emulated in early Reinhardt studio still lifes and sketches of the massive USS Salerno, the escort carrier to which he was posted in Puget Sound in 1945 during a one-year stint in the navy. In several small drawings and gouaches from 1939 such as Untitled (N.Y. World’s Fair), objective references—buildings, streetlamps, flags, telephone wires—are rendered with a lively precision that echoes the scrambled yet efficient energy with which Davis incorporated technology into the landscape. However, Reinhardt would very quickly move on from direct graphic idioms (except in his travel journals) and by 1945, in a review of a Davis exhibition at MoMA, was lamenting the artist’s inclusion of any realistic objects at all.⁴

Ad Reinhardt, Museum Landscape, 1950, spread from Transformation 1, no. 1 (1950).

YET IF REPRESENTATION had become something to dismiss for Reinhardt, representation’s graphic agent—the line—was foremost in his mind. We see this in his cartoons, where the representational line of drawing becomes, by a kind of punning extension, the lineage of modernist teleology. He often used tree diagrams to illustrate branches of the art world, most famously in How to Look at Modern Art in America, part of his 1946 “How to Look” series for PM newspaper, which combined drawn line and collaged prints, and Museum Landscape, 1950. In the former, Reinhardt offers a “guide to . . . the art world in a nutshell,” with artists’ names providing abundant foliage, and abstraction giving rise to the purest and most promising branches of modernism’s genealogical tree, e.g., those adorned with DAVIS, HOLTY, or MOHOLY-NAGY. In the latter, three massive trunks labeled ASHCAN ABSTRACTION, REGIONAL ABSTRACTION and FREE ENTERPRISE ABSTRACTION are supplemented by various diagrammed parts: leaves again bearing artists’ names, branches representing schools such as FENCE-MAKING and MUD-PIE SCHOOL, balloon “sponsors” such as CLEMENT GREENBERG CONSOLATION PRIZE, and flag “influences” such as M. ERNST. Fifteen years later, in 1961, Reinhardt revisited How to Look at Modern Art in America, in one of his last, and most bitter, cartoons. Now the tree is a stump of its former modernist glory, suggesting a grim decline. Reinhardt creates a kind of picture game out of the revisions he makes to his own collage. To catch the less obvious differences between the 1946 and 1961 iterations—for example, the terms NUDE, LANDSCAPES, and STILL LIFES have become LINES, BRUSHWORK, and COLLAGE—the viewer is forced to look close and long.

Reinhardt frames the question of line quite literally at times. In the panels of How to View High (Abstract) Art—a cartoon that employs a tree with partly drawn and partly collaged pictures, including an image of the Laocoön Group and an abstract painting, hanging from its spindly stem—the variation of line styles is a central if subtle detail. Panels that touch on representational art are for the most part outlined by ornate drawn borders, and the objects depicted within are themselves enclosed in heavily drawn casings—for example, a landscape painting hanging in a thick, patterned frame and an elaborate, old-fashioned radio. This stands in stark contrast to panels touching on abstraction, which have only the thin boundary of the conventional cartoon panel. The radio has lost its gothic armature and become a sleek, modern appliance, and the abstract canvases have slim, clean frames. Line’s stylistic variation becomes the explicit subject in Reinhardt’s wry inventory of drawing, LINES SEEN ABOUT TOWN LATELY (part of the cartoon How to Look at Iconography), which includes dotted and curved lines, a BUSY line, a NERVOUS line, a CLOTHES LINE (perhaps Davis’s), and SWEET ADELINE.

These cartoons, neatly conjoining reproduced and hand-drawn line, pedagogically engage with exactly the problems Reinhardt was working out elsewhere and earlier on the sketchbook page and in actual lines of charcoal, ink, gouache, and glued paper. At the same time, they evince the artist’s impulse to both mine and undermine the burgeoning power of New York’s art institutions. (The Museum of Modern Art had opened in 1929, the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1931, and the Museum of Non-objective Painting—now the Guggenheim—in 1939.) The cartoons’ conflation of line and lineage, “actual activity” and critical engagement of institution and context, mirrors the artist’s multifaceted praxis as a whole. Reinhardt was keenly aware of what was and was not on view “about town”; he not only reviewed shows for publications including New Masses and PM but picketed museums and wrote pamphlets and letters to the editor about exhibition policies.

Yet he also used the museum as a resource. His “How to Look” cartoons surely drew heavily on the catalogues of two seminal exhibitions that Museum of Modern Art director Alfred H. Barr Jr. had mounted in 1936, “Cubism and Abstract Art” and the more eclectic “Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism.” Not only did Reinhardt riff on the famous diagram of influence that Barr created for “Cubism and Abstract Art,” he directly copied some of the “Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism” works and echoed the show’s historical sprawl in his cartoon How to Look at Low (Surrealist) Art—which, along with How to View High (Abstract) Art, formed a dyad that neatly opposed the two major influences on his line during this period.⁵ However, the most significant repercussion of the latter exhibition may have been the opportunity it provided for an encounter with the collages of Max Ernst, who was prominently featured in the show. Certainly, Reinhardt’s cartoons draw heavily on the precisely collaged hybrid figures Ernst created from nineteenth-century engravings, evoking the absurd couplings of the Surrealist cadavre exquis and echoing Ernst’s crowded diagrammatic space.⁶

Ad Reinhardt, Collage, 1940, paper, 10 x 17 1/2".

This leads us to the heart of the issue in looking at Reinhardt’s early works on paper—what the artist, following the prompting of interviewer Bruce Glaser in 1966, defined as the “drawing problem.” Reinhardt went on to say that his cartoon collages were “a way of not drawing and a satire on all kinds of drawing, art manners, and devices. When I was a newspaper staff artist I didn’t do any drawing at all one year. All I did was paste up nineteenth-century engravings from a small collection of clippings.”⁷ “So it was a way of working out your drawing problems, in the newspapers,” said Glaser, to which Reinhardt responded, “Once and for all.”⁸ In other words, drawing—or figuring out how not to—was a central issue in Reinhardt’s oeuvre from the beginning.

In the ’40s, drawing had become a central and divisive topic in New York art circles, with the debate to some extent organizing itself around two models—an automatist and Jungian symbolic model on the one hand, and one premised on the earlier mechanistic diagrams of Duchamp, Ernst, and Picabia on the other.⁹ In the able hands of Reinhardt’s colleagues de Kooning, Gorky, Masson, Matta, and Pollock, drawing became a decisive declaration of freedom, increasingly transcribed through gestural paint and psychic release. For many artists, drawing was an escape from the rigid formulas of the WPA period; Peter Busa discussed practicing “a clandestine kind of automatic drawing, which we took seriously, but was obviously not acceptable to the Project officials.”¹⁰ And Barnett Newman famously failed the New York City Board of Examiners’ test to teach art in the city’s high schools in 1938 because he refused to practice the traditional rendering the exam required. He later organized an exhibition at the ACA Gallery titled “Can We Draw? The Board of Examiners Says—No!”

Like photography—an aesthetic approach Rein­hardt both embraced and dismissed, obsessively taking pictures of architecture and objects but only displaying them in slide lectures—drawing represented a potent paradox in Reinhardt’s oeuvre. He was among the most proficient and best-known draftsmen of his generation, in New York. But his work avoided expression altogether, purposely channeling the programmatic collective labor of the medieval guild (which he claimed influenced his use of tree diagrams), as well as classical art education’s conservative pedagogical approach¹¹—so dogmatically alien to his colleagues’ sense of drawing as automatic handwriting or as inherent drive.¹²

In Reinhardt’s early drawings we see him already leaning in this direction, already exploring every possible formal angle of line—as writing, as outline, as form, as expression, as space, as trace or copy. The diagram emerges as dominant. Its appeal was in part its universal applicability, across not only commercial and fine art practices but also temporal and global categories of art history. He would come to use it like an x-ray to expose the efficient outline of a painting’s skeletal structure, sometimes deploying shading to indicate color shifts. As late as 1966, Reinhardt produced Personal Sketches of Paintings, an organizational aid for his major Jewish Museum retrospective that year, in which he diagrammed his “monochrome” paintings’ serial color and cruciform structures, which are otherwise barely visible to the naked eye and are impossible to see in reproduction. It was the necessity of contending with the subjective and realist inflection of drawing’s legacy that led Reinhardt through the graphic idioms of American and Surrealist abstraction to the use of collage and to the diagram as strategies for uncoupling manual expression from line. And it led him, eventually, to five-by-five-foot abstract paintings from which all brushstroke had been eliminated.

REINHARDT’S EXPERIMENTATION with collage as a means of composing without inflection, so visible in his cartoons, flourished elsewhere as well. In the late ’30s and early ’40s, he produced a series of small abstract collages that span only five or so years but were pivotal to his working-out of color interaction and problems of space in subsequent paintings. In these works, he embraced both sides of collage’s legacy: its pure planarity and its quotidian allusiveness. Indebted to Cubism, Piet Mondrian, and Davis, he neatly arranged brightly colored paper cut into geometric blocks. (Mondrian supposedly visited Reinhardt’s 1944 exhibition at the Artists’ Gallery and particularly admired one of his neon window-pane collages.)¹³ By 1940, Reinhardt had shifted to using much smaller collaged pieces cut from what appear to be knitting catalogues, newspapers, art magazines, and construction paper, reassembling them like shards of glass. In these fascinating works, Reinhardt turns representational photography into abstract landscapes of pattern and color thick on the page, the glued paper “drawing” the lines.

Ad Reinhardt, Untitled, n.d., ink and pencil on paper, 4 3/4 x 3 3/4".

Collage also informed his writing practice. Anti-fascist cartoons from the early ’40s included quotations from Hitler, and by the mid-’40s he was collaging quotes from wildly diverse sources for the “How to Look” series. He called his 1961 essay “Angkor and Art” “an assemblage of comments on the mystery and clarity of Khmer art.”¹⁴ Later writings also experimented with rearranging artists’ and critics’ statements to reiterate his own art praxis, such as his revisions of the artist epigraphs that opened Barr’s introductory catalogue essay for “The New American Painting” at MoMA in 1959,¹⁵ or his 1965 letter to Perry Rathbone, director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, which helpfully revised Rathbone’s effusive essay on another artist to better suit Rein­hardt’s paintings. Using a tactic he described elsewhere as the “intellectual power of asserting ‘not,’” Reinhardt changed Rathbone’s blandishments into allusions to criticism of his own work simply by adding the word not: “They are not songs of nature,” “So it was no surprise when in his exhibition of 1963 he again displayed the capacity not to develop his art in a new direction,”¹⁶ and so on.

Even when Reinhardt was not literally making collages, he alluded to the practice of it in many of his drawings, applying color in overlapping, autonomous swaths like pieces of paper laid down on top of one another. In several elegant black-and-white drawings dating from 1936–39, the negative space is allowed to take on its own constructive presence, moving from the edges into the center, as in a gestalt-shifting optical illusion. (Here again we find Reinhardt’s insistent exhortation to stay awhile, looking, even in front of his smallest, quickest works.) Transparent forms seem to float in early gouaches from 1938–39 like colored tissue paper layered on amorphous abstractions. Several small oil-on-Masonite paintings from 1940 use asymmetrical blocks of color that appear to be interchangeable and to be moving toward a pure grid. Reinhardt’s mingling and overlapping of gouache, watercolor, and ink in single compositions in some relatively large works (the biggest is roughly sixteen by thirty inches) from 1945 also evoke collage. These bright drawings and their larger painted counterpoints veer from any straight and narrow trajectory of reduction. They are Reinhardt at his messiest (though still pretty tidy) and most experimental—his self-described rococo period, following the controlled geometries and neat color-space of the Davis-inspired ’30s studies. If you squint, you can imagine that a noncollaged work like Untitled, 1945, includes bright yellow, red, and blue construction-paper pieces interspersed with calligraphic strokes of black (not unlike newsprint), with puddles of mint-green, dove-gray, and baby-pink paint. A culmination of sorts, the 1945 group is a compendium of work sheets for every style and application of line, yet line never describes an actual physical thing other than itself.

The rest is history—but the history perhaps has yet to fully account for all aspects of Reinhardt’s late work. For if Reinhardt resolved his lineage with the late paintings, his final decade was still marked by a hectic engagement with art history through mechanical means. Coincident with painting exclusively “black” canvases, he embarked on a series of global expeditions to take and collect thousands of photographs—of skyscrapers, pyramids, artworks, and any number of other forms, which he then presented in colorful, multihour slide lectures that he retroactively termed “non-Happenings.” To view Reinhardt’s career as a process of refinement and progression toward the late paintings requires us to see these “non-Happening” lectures as a perplexing surplus. But what if, alongside his cartoons and writing, we considered these peripheral activities as in fact a vital and productive complement or counterpart? Indeed, he framed, accumulated, and grouped his slide photos in such a way as to suggest the diagrammatic structure and seriality of his paintings, putting representational photography into the service of abstraction as he had with his post-1940 collages. The shapes between things create their own values: Numerous shots of New York center a band of sky in the middle of two equally rectangular or triangular buildings, confusing any sense of positive space, a compositional trope we first see in drawings from the mid-’30s. As anecdotes by artist Robert Morris and art historian Dale McConathy—both former students of Reinhardt’s—attest, Reinhardt’s slides quite literally had strong viewpoints.¹⁷

And the slide shows, like the cartoons, demonstrate the paradoxical boon and danger of technology, dramatizing reproduction’s oscillation between detached legibility and overwhelming saturation. Photography (particularly the travel snapshot) eternally rehearses its failure to facilitate direct experience, a fact all of Reinhardt’s critics contend with when describing the slow visibility of his late paintings and their invisibility in reproduction. (Absent, then, is the evocative “almost” of line, color, shapes, light, embodied in these paintings’ achievements, as Reinhardt, and some of his best critics, have so eloquently described.)¹⁸ At the same time, Reinhardt’s photography, like his cartoons and writing, was a critical tool for emphasizing looking as part of a sensual system mediated through structure and temporality. All three activities generated specific images (and therefore strong views) of the diverse art history that his drawings and paintings contend with from their beginning.

So while it is tempting to find in Reinhardt’s early work the black paintings to come—to cite as harbingers the darkest gouaches, the spindly india-ink studies, the matte shadow of the collages’ support—we in fact need to look in the other direction. The dizzying spectrum of Reinhardt’s beginning is present as the late work’s “deep (bright) secret” of color quality,¹⁹ just as the 1946 cartoons’ layering of images is present in the slide lectures’ own accretions, and as the emerging structure of the early drawings is present in the elegant “ultimate diagram” of the black paintings,²⁰ whose lines are now spaces of color. Reinhardt’s mature vision is fed by the early revisions of the ’30s and ’40s. Such works on paper show us how to look at his late art, and to better see at once what is and is no longer there.

Prudence Peiffer is a lecturer and Mellon postdoctoral fellow in the department of art history and archaeology at Columbia University.

Ad Reinhardt, Untitled, 1940, oil on Masonite, 13 x 10".


1. In 1956, for instance, Reinhardt wrote a letter to Thomas Hess asking whether he might welcome an article on Carl Holty written by Reinhardt for Art News. “I suppose my idea is about the thirties in New York,” Reinhardt wrote. “(And it wasn’t Gorky and Busa standing around on a corner), the first half of the twentieth century, and real abstract art, and Holty is a good painter to center all this around. . . .” As quoted in Hess, The Art Comics and Satires of Ad Reinhardt (Rome: Marlborough Gallery, 1975), 18. David Smith also commented in an interview that “there were a lot of die-hards here [in America]—men like Glarner and Diller and Reinhardt. Many of these men, who were what were called non-objectivists, went right through the thirties firmly convinced of their own stand.” In David Sylvester, Interviews with American Artists (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001), 5.

2. Ad Reinhardt, interview by Harlan Phillips, ca. 1964, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.

3. Ad Reinhardt, “[Abstraction vs. Illustration],” 1943, in Art-as-Art: The Selected Writings of Ad Reinhardt, ed. Barbara Rose (New York: Viking Press, 1975), 49.

4. Ad Reinhardt, “Review of Stuart Davis Exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art (1945),” New Masses, November 27, 1945, 15. Reinhardt also assimilated the language of Davis’s own brand of abstraction. Davis’s writing on art is a real and underappreciated pleasure, full of humorous self-interviews and critical rants that inspired, sometimes directly, Reinhardt’s language. (Davis’s theorization of “color-space,” for instance, was essential for Reinhardt’s thinking-through of the red and blue abstract paintings that precede his black, and Davis was also an important early champion of Piet Mondrian.)

5. The cadavre exquis collage Figure, 1928, by Max Ernst, André Breton, Max Morise, Jeannette Ducrocq Tanguy, Pierre Naville, Benjamin Péret, and Yves Tanguy appeared in the exhibition and is reproduced in the catalogue. Other examples of overlaps abound, including Joan Miró’s Personage Throwing a Stone at a Bird, 1926, which is reinterpreted in the third frame of Reinhardt’s cartoon. The central amorphous figure with the huge foot is not the only Miró trope mimicked from the painting; Reinhardt even includes the two peaked tufts of the groundscape. Still other affinities include Max Ernst’s collage Rêve d’une petite fille qui voulut entrer au Carmel, 1930, with its fantasy boats and flags; Man Ray’s Object to Be Destroyed, 1923; René Magritte’s The Eye, 1928; and Giorgio de Chirico’s The Nostalgia of the Infinite, ca. 1912–13, Toys of a Philosopher, 1917, and Melancholy and Mystery of a Street, 1914.

6. Critics and art historians including Clement Greenberg, Werner Spies, Lucy Lippard, Hal Foster, and Rosalind Krauss have discussed the economy of line, diagrammatic nature, and automatic marks of Ernst’s collages.

7. Bruce Glaser, “An Interview with Ad Reinhardt,” Art International 10, no. 10 (Winter 1966–67), as reprinted in Art-as-Art, 12–23: 16. In her encyclopedic survey Collage, Herta Wescher makes a rare reference to the originality of Reinhardt’s collage and his use of cut-up photographs and negative prints. See Wescher, Collage (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1968), 298. Lucy Lippard and Michael Corris both discuss the importance of collage to Reinhardt’s oeuvre; Corris connects Reinhardt’s use of collage to the artist’s early magazine-layout work in Ad Reinhardt (London: Reaktion Books, 2008), 69. Referring to one of Reinhardt’s final cartoons, Thomas Hess wrote that Reinhardt “was very proud that in his last complete satire, the ‘Yhung Mandala,’ of 1956, as in his late paintings, there is barely a trace of the artist’s hand.” Hess, The Art Comics and Satires of Ad Reinhardt, 23.

8. Glaser, “An Interview with Ad Reinhardt,” 16.

9. For more, see David Joselit, “Dada’s Diagrams,” in The Dada Seminars, ed. Leah Dickerman and Matthew Witkovsky (Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, 2005), 221–39; and Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, “Hesse’s Endgame: Facing the Diagram,” in Eva Hesse Drawing, ed. Catherine de Zegher (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006), 121.

10. “Concerning the Beginnings of the New York School: 1939–1943, an Interview with Peter Busa and Matta, Conducted by Sidney Simon in Minneapolis in December 1966,” Art International 11, no. 6 (Summer 1967): 17.

11. Mary Fuller, “An Ad Reinhardt Monologue,” Artforum, October 1970, 37.

12. This connection to “how to” manuals is discussed by Lippard, Hess, and, most recently, Astrit Schmidt-Burkhardt, in her book Stammbäume der Kunst: Zur Genealogie der Avantgarde (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 2005), 285. See also Yve-Alain Bois’s discussion of Reinhardt’s break from Abstract Expressionist colleagues over this drawing issue, in “The Limit of Almost,” Ad Reinhardt (New York: Rizzoli, 1991), 23.

13. “The one Mondrian admired,” one reviewer speculated, “is made of strips of deep-dyed papers which suggest window frames in their arrangement; neon lights in their color.” Maude Riley, “Fifty-Seventh Street in Review,” Art Digest, February 15, 1944, 20.

14. Ad Reinhardt, “Angkor and Art,” in Khmer Sculpture (New York: Asia House Gallery, Carnegie Press, 1961), 5.

15. The New American Painting (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1959), 15. In the small New York publication Pax in 1960, several of these textual revisions were printed next to the original. Art-as-Art, 166–67.

16. Letter to Perry Rathbone, 1965, George Rickey papers, vol. 21, Museum of Modern Art Archives, New York.

17. See Robert Morris, interview by Paul Cummings, March 10, 1968, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution; and Dale McConathy, “Ad Reinhardt: ‘He Loved to Confuse and Confound,’” Art News 79, no. 4 (April 1980): 56–59.

18. See Dore Ashton and Yve-Alain Bois, as quoted in Bois, “The Limit of Almost,” 11–33: 24.

19. As quoted in his 1946 cartoon How to Look at Things Through a Wine-Glass.

20. Ad Reinhardt, “One,” in Art-as-Art, 93.