Last Tuesday Kenneth Noland, an Abstract Expressionist artist noted for his style called color-field painting, died at 85 years old in his home in Maine.
As a key component to the color-field movement, Noland explored interplays of color and form to produce a signature style recognizable through out most of his works. Color-field painting is illustrated through large areas of color typically stained or poured onto the canvas, as to remove the hand of the artist.
Noland first took interest in painting as a teenager, and after being deployed from WWII he later attended Black Mountain College in Ashville, NC where he studied under Josef Albers and Ilya Bolotowsky. Moving to Paris in the 1940s, he was heavily influenced by Matisse and his use of color. Upon returning to Washington D.C. in the 1950s, Noland fully explored color and began staining and pouring paint onto canvases. During this time he probed the idea of allowing art to have its own visual presence, void of the interaction of a human hand.
Noland is most noted for his works with bold circles, as seen in the current exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles (MOCA) “Collection: MOCA’s First Thirty Years”, which features “Untitled (Target)” from 1963. Also in the latest Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA) December 9, 2009 Fine Art, Sculpture and Design Auction, a Kenneth Noland lithograph from 1978 was offered, which featured Noland’s signature circles. In the February 10, 2008 Auction LAMA offered a Noland painting, “Untitled”, from 1957, which featured oil on a piece of circular wood.