By 1952, Reinhardt’s compositions were severe grids. Though the two mirrored T-shaped motifs somewhat obscure the gridded arrangement, this composition is divided evenly into three vertical bands and seven horizontal bands. Through the work’s subtle tonal variations, Reinhardt explores the spatial effects of the color red. Its warmer hues appear to push out toward the viewer and almost hover before the painting’s surface, while its cooler hues appear to withdraw and recede. The artist’s brushwork is so subtle that traces of his hand are nearly impossible to perceive. His polemical paintings, writings, and comics divided his peers and audience sharply in the 1950s, but in the following decade he became one of the strongest influences on the younger generations of Minimalist and Conceptual artists.
Additional text from In The Studio: Postwar Abstract Painting online course, Coursera, 2017