RA-Abstract Expressionism- Ad Reinhardt

Visit to the RA abstract expressionism exhibition notes.

Ad Reinhardt- abstract painting no.23

Tests the limits of vision – looks all black but actually made up of grids of extremely dark shades of blue and red. I like how the viewer has to spend time really looking at the painting to truly understand it, having to wait for our eyes to gradually adjust to the darkness to see the symmetrical cross shapes of blue and red.

“Reinhardt was inspired by Zen Buddhism, with its focus on aesthetic detachment from the material world and emphasis on quiet meditation. This work seems to reflect some of the artists interest in slowing down the experience of looking”. Ben street-Royal academy of the arts.

A lot of my work tends to be A4 size or smaller because I like the viewer to have to go up close to the piece to really see all the detail and every mark on the page. There is also always a difference when you stand back from them to when you are up close. Them often looking like a blank page of colour from afar, but when you go up close you can see indents of marks made or a mass of lines. I found Reinhardt’s n0.23 piece interesting because it is so large yet you can perceive it differently depending on how you look at it,  and how much time spent looking at it. I want people to spend time looking at the work rather than skimming past it, having them step back and go up close, I like how there is a point when it clicks to the viewer after they have really looked at the painting and go up close to see the grids of blue and red, rather than walking past just assuming it is something it isn’t.


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