Ad Reinhardt (book review) Lucy R. Lippard

200317: i have found what i have been looking for in abstract art. art is art. art is abstract art. art is ad reinhardt more than any other i have seen. this is a favourite. reproductions are great, even later plates of his 'black' paintings, showing the progressive history of stripping away the inessential aspects he wanted to communicate his art: no symbols, no forms, no colours, no compositions...


reinhardt is that rare and best artist who is also exacting critic and lucid theorist. this book on rather than by, is reprint from 1969- just after his death, with a useful epilogue for the '80s, which notes his ongoing effects and rise in stature. though of the same era as abstract expressionists, he is different not only in politics, approval, popular acclaim, but also in essence of his conception of art. not only hostile to surrealism/dada and regionalism/socialist realism, he believed in art as art, as ultimately nothing other, as abstract but not 'expressionist', not personal, emotional, angsty, nothing but art. which has precedence in other traditions, older traditions, eastern and Islamic cultures- art as spiritually meaningful as art...


this book has colour plates from his early work to his last- though if you are not looking intently you might see nothing but black squares in the latter. there are throughout critical indications, appreciations, sense of where he is going and what he is trying and what is the result, but it is of course the paintings that explain themselves. included are a few of his 'artworld' cartoons. indeed, if his work is seen innocently it might be thought of as parodied 'abstract' art that makes no sense, simply because it does not 'refer' to anything but itself, is just some 'big city trick' on honest folks... read this critical work and profundity, seriousness, earnestness, of all his work is apparent...


now if i could only see his work in person. for that is the key to any art thought: the work itself! as it is right now, i must content myself with books like this...

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if you like this review, i now have website: www.michaelkamakana.com 220611: this is probably the most academically accurate of the translations I have read of this book, but still prefer commentary o