Skip to content

Press Release

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to present Kenneth Noland’s exhibition at the gallery. Color and Shape, Paintings 1976-1980 opens on July 18, 2015 with a reception from 6-8pm.

A collaboration with Castelli Gallery in New York, Kenneth Noland: Color and Shape, Paintings 1976-1980 is a focused selection of Kenneth Noland’s irregularly shaped canvases from the late 1970s. These paintings evince an apex of the twin concerns of color and shape that Noland began to pursue in the late 1950s that led to a direct relationship between the painted surface and the outer shape of the canvas. Until the mid-1970s, Noland explored the possibilities of symmetry and structured color within a variety of rectilinear shapes. His investigations led to the pursuit of unbalanced non-representational paintings that united color and shape in an unprecedented way. The resulting paintings reveal a diversity of structural and coloristic activity within a fully asymmetrical mode. Curated by Hayden Dunbar, this exhibition follows last year’s Openness and Clarity: Color Field Works from the 1960s and 1970s that included Kenneth Noland along with seven other pioneering Color Field painters.

Kenneth Noland was a defining figure in Color Field painting. He is best known for his trademark series of works based on simple geometric shapes: circles, targets, chevrons, and stripes. Noland attended Black Mountain College, where he studied under Josef Albers and Paul Klee. Settling in Washington D.C. a few years later, he befriended fellow artist Morris Louis while the two were teaching at the Washington Workshop Center of the Arts. Noland also developed important associations with artists Anthony Caro, Jules Olitski, and critic Clement Greenberg. Many of these artists were deeply influenced by Helen Frankenthaler’s stain technique, which allowed for freer experimentation with color. For Noland, color became the ideal means to explore the formal relationship between the painted image and its canvas support. In 1976, the artist was given a major retrospective exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, which traveled to the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. His work has also been the subject of many exhibitions, including the Tate Liverpool (2006), and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (2004).