I’m not an abstractionist… I’m not interested in relationships of color or forms… I’m interested only in expressing basic human emotions—tragedy, ecstasy, doom and so on… The people who weep before my pictures are having the same religious experience I had when I painted them.
…the man who spends his entire life turning the wheels of industry so that he has neither time nor energy to occupy himself with any other needs of his human organism is by far a greater escapist than the one who developed his art.
“I’m merely making the last painting which anyone can make.” —Ad Reinhardt, born on this day in 1913.
Installation view of Shaping a Collection: Five Decades of Gifts (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, July 17–October 19, 2014). From left to right: Ellsworth Kelly, Blue Panel I, 1977; Ad Reinhardt, Untitled, 1960–1966; Ad Reinhardt, Untitled, 1960–1966; Mark Rothko, Four Darks in Red, 1958. Photograph by Sheldan C. Collins
A picture lives by companionship, expanding and quickening in the eyes of the sensitive observer. It dies by the same token. It is therefore risky to send it out into the world. How often it must be impaired by the eyes of the unfeeling and the cruelty of the impotent.