Kenneth Noland

Kenneth Noland (04/10/1924-01/05/2010)was born in Asheville, North Carolina.  He was exposed to art at an early age by his mother, who was an amateur musician, and his father, a painter who had studied under an Impressionist.  Noland was drafted into the army and elected to serve in the Air force as a glider pilot and cryptographer.  After his service he returned to Asheville and decided to attend Black Mountain College.   While at Black Mountain he was introduced to Bauhaus principles and color theories. Noland had his first one man exhibition in 1949 at Galerie Raymond Creuze, in Paris, exhibiting both sculptures and paintings.  Later he returned to the United States, and settled in Washington D.C.  He returned to Black Mountain College in the summer of 1950.  He met Clement Greenberg, who became a close friend and mentor, and Helen Frankenthaler at the college.  Noland began to experiment with Frankenthaler's method of staining unprimed canvas with acrylic.  His work gradually became more hard-edged and geometric, featuring circular or ellipsoid rings, chevrons and targets.  In 1958 he created concentric circle canvases, generally considered his first mature works.  In 1962 he began the cat's-eye series. He moved to New York in the spring of 1962, where he developed his chevron paintings.  He bought Robert Frost's farm in Vermont and moved there one year later.  In 1964-5 he experimented with neutral colors, diamonds, and reducing the number of bands in his paintings. His works were exhibited in 1964 with the Minimalist group known as "The Washington Color Painters."  In 1966 he began making sculptures after buying some materials from the David Smith estate.  In 1969 he moved back to New York, but kept the Frost farm in Vermont.  His forms became more loose; horizontal, vertical, and diagonal lines overlapped to involve the space outside of the picture plane.  Noland began to work in metal sculpture and to produce shaped canvases during the 1970s.  In 1977 he was elected to the American Academy and Institutes of Arts and Letters.  His works are in the collections of the Guggenheim Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Retrospectives of Noland's work have been held at the Jewish Museum (1964) and at the Guggenheim Museum (1977).

Other works by: Kenneth Noland