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Kenneth NOLAND Biography

Kenneth Noland was one of the best-known American Color Field painters.  He composed canvases into chevrons, concentric circles, rays and diamonds. After serving in WWII, Noland took advantage of G.I. Bill in order to study at the Black Mountain College under Josef Albers, who taught Bauhaus and color theory. Noland sought to remove himself from the act of painting by adopting Helen Frankenthaler’s “soak-stain” technique, which allows the paint to soak into an unprimed canvas. This removed the artist’s brushstrokes and focused on the work itself.


Color Field painting took hold in the 1960s after Clement Greenberg’s famous exhibition Post-Painterly Abstraction. Noland’s use of targets, chevrons, stripes and shaped canvases allowed his work to stand out. His chevron paintings were unique in that the composition drew as much attention to the corners of the painting as to the middle, unifying the canvas in one undivided entity. Noland also spent much of his career teaching at the Institute of Contemporary Art and the Washington Workshop Center of the Arts in Washington D.C., as well as at Bard College in New York until 1985.