Ad Reinhardt, famous for his black paintings, was a painter associated with the Abstract Expressionists. Born in Buffalo, NY, Reinhardt studied Art History with Meyer Shapiro at Columbia University, which had a profound influence on both his painting and his writing. In the 1930s, like many New York artists, Reinhardt served as a painter for the Works Progress Administration, which allowed him to meet other artists and to join and exhibit with the American Abstract Artists’ Association. Reinhardt also exhibited in group and solo exhibitions at the Peggy Guggenheim Gallery in New York before regularly holding solo exhibits at the Betty Parsons Gallery, the space around which the Abstract Expressionist movement was centered. In the 1960s, Reinhardt reduced his geometric paintings into grids of subtly different shades of black; he painted exclusively black works until his death. Throughout his career, Reinhardt was also a prolific writer on the aesthetic role of Abstract Art; he wrote critical texts for journals and created thousands of cartoons and illustrations.