No. 18, 1956
Oil on canvas
203.2 x 81.3 cm (80 x 32 inches)
Gift of Richard Brown Baker 1996.11.43
No. 18 comprises rectangles that vary just enough, on close scrutiny, to become distinguishable bands of black and deep blue. The use of color fields and the seeming absence of brushstrokes create an effect that encourages intense visual concentration. Reinhardt’s statement that “there is a black which is old and black which is fresh … lustrous black and dull black, black in sunlight and black in shadow” is exemplified by No. 18’s presentation of different shades of color, leading us towards a deeper consideration of tone, affect, and how we perceive the world.(November 7, 2003 – January 25, 2004)
I am very skeptical about most of what people say pictures mean or paintings mean. I lean very much toward, way over toward a guy like Ad Reinhart, although I think he exaggerated, when he said pictures don’t mean anything. I have a kind of feeling that a work of art is something that you can never put your finger on in terms of meaning. I think that’s its essential quality. (Siskind in audiotaped interview with Don Anderson, Louisville, Kentucky, April 29, 1970, Oral History Center, University Archives and Records Center, University of Louisville.)(November 17, 2000 – March 4, 2001)(November 12, 2004 – March 5, 2005)(November 9, 2001 – February 17, 2002)
Edited ByWoolsey, Ann, ed.
Publisher & DateMuseum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, 2008
TypeMonographs and CollectionsManuala journal about art and its making. Blue
Edited ByGanz, Sarah Blythe, S. Hollis Mickey, and Amy Pickworth, eds.
Publisher & DateMuseum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, 2015
Farrell, Jennifer. “Get There First, Decide Promptly: The Richard Brown Baker Collection of Postwar Art”. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 2011.