Kenneth Noland 1924-2010


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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.


Kenneth Noland has work featured in the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Australian National Gallery in Canberra, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC., the Art Gallery of South Australia in Adelaide,the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., the Kunsthaus in Zurich, the Kunstmuseum in Basel, the LACMA, the Humlebaek in Denmark, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the MoMA in New York, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Boston MFA, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Tate Gallery in London and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.


Related Categories: Post-Painterly Abstraction, Color Field Painting, Black Mountain College, Hard-Edged, Post-War American Art, Line, Form and Color, Minimalism, Color Theory, United States, Painting.