Ad Reinhardt, the son of Russian and German immigrants, moved to New York in 1931. He studied art history on a full scholarship at Columbia University (1931–1935), then attended both the American Artists School and the National Academy of Design. From 1936 to 1940 he worked for the Works Progress Administration’s Federal Art Project, and from 1937 to 1947 he was a member of the American Abstract Artists group (AAA). Suspending his work and studies during U.S. involvement in World War II (1941–1945), he attended New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts after the war. Besides painting, Reinhardt also became an influential art critic and theorist and a talented caricaturist, producing many provocative cartoons and illustrations. From the late 1940s onward he taught at several American colleges and universities. Reinhardt became famous for his “black paintings,” which he first exhibited in 1955. After experimenting with abstraction during the 1930s and 1940s, Reinhardt began to reduce his paintings more and more in respect to form, color, gesture, and expression. His monochrome color-field paintings in blue and red eventually culminated in black paintings divided into linear fields of subtly graduated black hues with green, red, or blue undertones.