Art: Ad Absurdum

Among the new acquisitions currently on display at Manhattan's Museum of Modern Art is a large square canvas called Abstract Painting that seems at first glance to be entirely black. Closer inspection shows that it is subtly divided into seven lesser areas. In a helpful gallery note at one side. Abstractionist Ad Reinhardt explains his painting. It is: "A square (neutral, shapeless) canvas, five feet wide, five feet high, as high as a man, as wide as a man's outstretched arms (not large, not small, sizeless), trisected (no composition), one horizontal form negating...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!