Kenneth Noland: Selected Works, 1958–1980

Kenneth Noland: Selected Works, 1958–1980

Cardi Gallery London

Kenneth Noland, Call, 1973. Acrylic on canvas, 266 x 266 cm. Photo: Bruno Bani. Courtesy Cardi Gallery.
January 15, 2015

January 21–April 11, 2015

Opening: Tuesday, January 20, 7pm

Cardi Gallery di Porta Nuova 38 
20121 Milan

T +39 02 45478189
F +39 02 45478120
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Curated by Annamaria Maggi
Catalogue text by Franco Fanelli

Cardi Gallery, the Milan-based modern and contemporary art gallery, is pleased to present Kenneth Noland: Selected Works, 1958–1980, an exhibition of approximately ten works by one of the most influential American painters of the postwar style of artistic abstraction known as Colour Field painting.

On view for the first time in Milan, works from 1958 to 1980 from the “Target,” “Stripes,” “Shaped Canvas,” and “Plaid” will be exhibited at Cardi Gallery. Approximately ten works will be featured in the exhibition from different points in his career, including Target from 1958, dedicated to his wife Paige Rense, editor-in-chief of Architectural Digest; as well as paintings from his “Stripes” series in the 1960s and early 1970s; and Prairie, which was included in the historic 1970s exhibition at Leo Castelli Gallery in New York. Different sizes and appearances define the shaped works on display, all in Noland’s classical style: two of them, from 1977, are vertical and shaped as an irregular hexagon, while Half Day, from 1976, is a fan-shaped work painted vertically in colour block. The 1978 work, To Stay, is dominated by green sage colour contained in a nine-sided border of multi-coloured thin lines. Call, from 1973, part of the “Plaid” series, is a large rhombus work in orange, with centrally crossed lines, both vertical and horizontal. All of the works in the exhibition are from the artist’s studio.

During the 1950s Noland created masterpieces in the “Targets” (or “Circles”) series that defined him as a Colour Field painter. These works gave him the possibility to focus on the study of the concentric shapes: resulting in hypnotic colourful dartboard-like works that lend the illusion of movement due to the colour block combinations.

In the 1960s, Noland moved into more minimalist works, setting the “Target” series aside and focusing on the “Chevon” and “Stripes” series with larger unprimed canvases applying acrylic colour directly onto the surface. This new technique removed brushstrokes and helped the artist define the intangible effect of painting. The “Stripes” series are among the most sought-after works by Kenneth Noland, mostly because of their crude simplicity.

From the 1970s onward, Noland focused on his shaped canvases, using the same technique from the “Stripes” series, but adding a perimeter of juxtaposed coloured bands, with the core of the works monochromatically filled. The shaped canvases detach from traditional square or rectangular formats, taking irregular shapes, aiming for a more intensive physical and psychological inclusion. The 1970s also included Noland’s “Plaid” series, as an evolution of the earlier “Chevron” series, characterized by intersecting thin regular lines. Noland continued to work until his death in 2010.

About the artist
An important American abstract painter, Kenneth Noland (1924–2010) is best known for his brightly coloured geometric paintings and his central role in the development of the American Colour Field movement. Along with his friend Morris Louis, Noland founded the Washington Colour School in Washington, D.C. in 1953, an important component of the larger Colour Field Movement, which abandoned figuration for the expressive power of colour. Practitioners included artists Barnett Newman, Clyfford Still, Helen Frankenthaler, and Jules Olitski. As proof of Noland and Louis’s significance to the movement, renowned art critic Clement Greenberg celebrated the pair of artists, comparing them to the great Abstract Expressionists Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning. 

Noland’s work has been widely exhibited around the world. His first solo exhibition was in 1949 in Paris, followed by his inclusion in Clement Greenberg’s exhibition Emerging Talent in New York in 1954, the traveling exhibition Young American Painters for the Museum of Modern Art (New York) in 1956, and solo exhibition at Tibor de Nagy Gallery in New York in 1957. In 1964, Noland’s paintings were included the American pavilion at Biennale Exposition in Venice, along with works by Morris Louis, Jasper Jones and Robert Rauschenberg, and in 1977, he was honoured with a retrospective at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.

Noland’s paintings are included in the permanent collections of the most important museums in the world, including Tate Gallery, London; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Centre National d’Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou, Paris; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland; Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; Saint Etienne Metropole, Saint Etienne, France; Australian National Gallery, Canberra; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, and others.

 Cardi Gallery upcoming art fairs January–April:

– Arte Fiera, Bologna, January 22–26
– Zona Maco, Mexico City, February 4–8
– ARCOMadrid, February 25–March 1
– The Armory Show, New York, March 4–8
– TEFAF, Maastricht, March 12–22
– Sp-Arte, Sao Paulo, April 8–12
– MiArt, Milano, April 9–12

Media contacts
Erika Oman, FITZ & CO: T +1 212 627 1455 x0929 / erika.oman [​at​]
Elena Bodecchi, Cardi Gallery: T +39 0245478189 / elena [​at​]

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Cardi Gallery London
January 15, 2015

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