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Ad Reinhardt: Twelve Rules for a New Academy

Ad Reinhardt’s Twelve Rules for a New Academy is the latest post in the ARTNews “Retrospectives” column.

Alex Greenberger introduces the text writing: “Much of today’s discussion of contemporary abstraction is centered on ‘Zombie Formalism’—Walter Robinson’s coinage for new work that revisits (or apes, one might say) historical forms of abstraction for purely stylistic reasons. Given the intensity of that debate, we thought it would be interesting, for this week’s Retrospective column, to jump back almost 60 years, to 1957, when Ad Reinhardt took up the subject of contemporary abstraction in ARTnews. Reinhardt, who had written for the magazine previously, said that the article—titled ‘Twelve Rules for a New Academy’—’constitute[d] his last words on art in terms of words.’ He sharply criticized his formalist contemporaries, offering instead twelve ways to achieve purity in art.”

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