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Ad Reinhardt Abstract Painting 19601965

Ad Reinhardt's painting, Abstract Painting 1960-65, is at first glance' a black square canvas. The subject matter seems to be just what it is, a black painting. There are no people. No event or action is taken except for the fact that Reinhardt has made the painting. The title only provides us with the information that we are looking at an abstract painting. The only other information that the artist gives you is the time period, in which it was conceived, 1960 to 1965. In the least amount of words possible, we could describe the painting as an abstract color field. It is possible that a narrative is expressed through the piece, although, we can not be certain what it is. There is nothing narrated through conventional means in any way. The composition of the painting takes place with the square of the canvas. The square is approximately 5' x 5'. A black frame surrounding the painting protrudes approximately 4" off the canvas. There is a 1" inlay between the canvas and frame. From this square, Reinhardt breaks the composition into six equal squares in three even rows. Texture is no where to be found in the painting. No visual indication of the artist's brush stroke is present. No varnished glare is given off by the piece. The entire work, including the frame, is completely matte. The squares take up the entire canvas in a checkerboard type arrangement. Each square is a slightly different shade of blue-black. It almost becomes impossible to see the difference between each square. The middle squares in the top and bottom rows shift more towards blue than the rest of the squares. The division of these middle squares become more obvious than the others. When the painting is looked at from a distance, it is almost impossible to see any of the squares at all. When looking from a far, all a viewer can see is a blackish blue canvas. As you stare longer into the painting, a halo begins to form around the corners of the canvas, creating a circle...

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