Ultimate art

“Those who peddle squiggly lines and colours should be run off the streets …”

Ad Reinhardt

During the last decade of his life, abstract American artist Ad Reinhardt focused exclusively on the colour black. He described these as ultimate paintings. They represented a process of reduction or subtraction of all elements, imagery, narrative, emotion, gesture or superfluous colour. Reinhardt favoured slow art, designed to be slowly viewed for hours at a time. This is his 1964 work, Untitled. It is hard from a digital image, but some of those who spend enough time with it at the MOMA in NYC, describe seeing much more than a black square. They perceive a crucifix form. The corners of the canvas have a reddish hue, the vertical portion of the crucifix is blue, the horizontal is green. The surface is also a remarkable pure matt, free of any perceptible brush strokes. This art is a challenge to look deeper and longer, a casual inspection is not going the reward the viewer. I can’t wait to get back to New York and see for myself. #postcovidgoals #letsmakelemonade

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