Ishould say right at the beginning that I was less than enraptured by the prospect of a major Ad Reinhardt show, even by the prospect of the first retrospective of his work to be organized by an important American museum.[1] Reinhardt is one of those painters I’ve never been passionate about. I’ve always taken him seriously, but more or less for granted. I’d run into him as a personality in the course of working on a variety of Stuart Davis projects, which probably contributed as much to my impression of Reinhardt as my experience of his work. I knew that Davis befriended Reinhardt in the 1930s and became a kind of mentor to the younger artist, almost a full generation his junior. I knew that Reinhardt shared Davis’s idiosyncratic but engaged approach to leftist politics and his intolerance of orthodoxy, cant, and pretentiousness. ...


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