Merry Hill - Kenneth Noland
So NOT a monochrome. Obviously the tag makes sense for people to find it, but it’s such a statement, those miniscule other stripes… which in person are actually huge. Always loved this one.
Gene Davis, Solar Diary (Needle Park), 1972
As laid-back the sun can ever be at 2 PM.
Kenneth Noland - Blue Veil (1963)
Getting into Noland’s chevrons and other angled paintings a lot more lately, after first falling for his target circles and later his horizontal stripes which I’ve used several of for Facebook cover photos. I wish I could meet another person that has a Noland stripe painting as their cover photo. I would marry that person.
Kenneth Noland, Determined Course, 1976
Noland’s shaped canvas paintings returns to the (excessively) subtle direction of his last stripe paintings, interrupted by the series of “plaid” patterns that were probably conceived as a sort of tribute to the neoplasticism of his teacher, Ilya Bolotowksy… My opinion is that, while those last stripe paintings were tightrope masterpieces, the Shapes are pretty much hit-and-miss and the novelty of their form manages to increase the impression that art has been reduced to splinters. If I viewed them in their proper settings, probably I would have liked very much for the chance given to colors to evade from their traditional rectangular shape. But Frank Stella’s works yield much more palatable results a few years before, and even I can’t deny that most of the Shapes seem formalist more than anything else… so forgive me, Noland, if I say that you’ve done the best decision by abandoning flatness and returning to texture and to being painterly (see the Papers and the ’80s Chevrons series).
OK, enough of the general speech - here’s one of my favorites from the Shapes series, Determined Course, a pretty clear case of how great a colorist Noland was. Incredibly graceful contrasts and a shape the fits the painting like a glove…
Noland’s shaped canvases are really interesting to me, something he experimented with both early on and in the 70s, as it was perhaps his biggest break from his well-known circle targets, stripes, and chevrons.Sometimes he tried to make geometric forms based on the canvas he cut, but here is one of his most sensual and most organic pieces of the period.
The title of this piece translates to “Ideally Ringed Targets,” or, word for word, “Targets Ringed Ideally.” I think the word order sort of changes it and that’s why translating from French and retaining artistic motive is tough, particularly in short phrases, because of the varying ways English vs. Romance language construct sentences in terms of subject/verb placement. But that’s a discussion for another time. ENJOY THIS ART!!!
Les cibles annelées idéalement.
Click through for a great piece regarding Kenneth Noland and forgeries.
Here, one of his most striking pieces, at least to my eye, due perhaps to its inclusion of so much of the color spectrum and the fact that it is one of his few non-circular or stripe pieces.
Kenneth Noland :
- And half, 1959
- Open end, 1967
- Refresh, 1999
(don’t forget to click through for real size pictures)