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Kenneth Noland Portrait

Kenneth Noland

Born:
Asheville, North Carolina 1924

Died:
Port Clyde, Maine 2010

Active in:

  • South Salem, New York

Photo Caption:
Photograph taken by Fred W. McDarrah. Image is courtesy of the Photographs of artists taken by Fred W. McDarrah collection, 1960-1976 in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Luce Artist Quote

"I wanted color to be the origin of the painting, I was trying to neutralize the layout, the shape, the composition . . . I wanted to make color the generating force." Interview with Paul Cummings, December 1971, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution


Luce Artist Biography

Kenneth Noland studied at Black Mountain College in North Carolina, a school that encouraged experimental art. Well into the 1950s, the college supported artists of all kinds, from painters who wanted to dance to musicians who wanted to sculpt. In 1949, Noland moved to Washington and was inspired by the work of European artists he saw while "going to church" at the Phillips Collection. He discovered abstract expressionism and began experimenting with unprimed canvases and unusual methods of applying paint. He and the artist Morris Louis had "jam sessions," in which they painted together and bounced ideas off one another. Noland adopted the circle as a way to make a "single expressive entity," and often applied thinned paint to unprimed canvas in a rapid "one shot" attempt to get it right. (Agee, Kenneth Noland: The Circle Paintings 1956-1963, 1993)