The Artist’s Artist: Ad Reinhardt Black Painting Goes to Auction

June 29, 2016

For Immediate Release

June 29, 2016

LOS ANGELES, CA – Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA) is pleased to announce Ad Reinhardt’s Abstract Painting (1958) will go to auction on October 9, 2016. This important painting is from a series of black paintings Reinhardt produced between the years of 1953 and 1967, deemed one of the most influential bodies of work in Modern art.


Ad Reinhardt, Abstract Painting (1958), Estimate: $180,000–250,000
October 9, 2016 Modern Art & Design Auction at LAMA

Reinhardt’s influence spans generations and movements. Frank Stella, Sol LeWitt, James Turrell, Carl Andre, Richard Serra, and Felix Gonzalez-Torres have all praised his work. According to Stella, “If you don’t know what Reinhardt’s paintings are about, you don’t know what painting is about.”

Ad Reinhardt Abstract Painting (1958)

Abstract Painting (1958), which will be offered at auction for the first time this October, is one of a group of pivotal black paintings the artist himself regarded as his “ultimate paintings,” marking the apogee of years of experimentation. Exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in 1963, these radical works caused a public outcry for their presumed nihilism and lack of visual reference. In aiming to “resist reinterpretation,” the color black became for Reinhardt the “absolute point of abstraction.”

Abstract Painting is an icon of the Modern art genre,” states Zoe Weinberg, LAMA’s Fine Art specialist. “It was executed in the same year that the artist exhibited four black paintings in the American Pavillion at the Brussels World’s Fair, and together these works effectively catalyzed the Minimal and Conceptual art movements of the later 20th and early 21st centuries.”

Black paintings by Ad Reinhardt are in the permanent collections of MoMA, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Tate, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Walker Art Center, and the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Far-Reaching Influence

“It was while trying to see Ad’s black paintings that I fully realized that it requires work to see any work of art.”

Carl Andre

“Reinhardt is one of the great underrated artists. The dark color coming out of darkness is amazing in his work.”

James Turrell

“Ad Reinhardt was an artist of ideas, and he was very influential. …[H]is example provided another direction: not Pop art and Fluxus but a more vital and productive way. His art really became the key to my thinking.”

Sol LeWitt

“[Reinhardt] has been a great model for me, and some sort of moral barometer. There aren’t too many around.”

Richard Serra

“Reinhardt is a very specific voice, a very special voice. Very unique, and in a way, very effective.”

Felix Gonzalez-Torres


Full Lot Details:

Ad Reinhardt
Abstract Painting
Oil on canvas
Signed, titled, and dated frame verso; retains William Hayes Ackland Memorial Art Center exhibition label frame verso
Canvas: 24″ x 20″; Frame: 24.5″ x 20.5″

Exhibited: “Distinguished University Artists,” William Hayes Ackland Memorial Art Center, UNC, Chapel Hill, April 2-May 2, 1965

Literature: Distinguished University Artists. William Hayes Ackland Memorial Art Center exh. cat. 1965. 13.

Estimate: $180,000–250,000

October 9, 2016 Modern Art & Design Auction
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Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA), the fastest growing auction house in the modern and contemporary art world, is the leading auction house dedicated to selling 20th century Modern Fine Art and Design. The upcoming Modern Art & Design Auction is scheduled for October 9, 2016.


For more information and images, please contact Shannon Loughrey, Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA) | 16145 Hart St., Van Nuys, CA | | T: 323-904-1950 | F: 323-904-1954 | e-mail:


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